Mix some OJ, lime juice, caña liquor, and sugar to get one of the best drinks I’ve had here in Ecuador. Of course we got it along the coast – Canoa, Manabi, Ecuador to be exact (apparently the food and drinks are better en la costa). This past weekend La Crew Soltera vacated a bit and traveled 6 hours overnight on Thursday (bus ejecutivo from Quito) to the Manabi province of Ecuador, home to the prettiest beaches (according to TripAdvisor).
Right before we boarded our bus we met some Californians who were visiting Canoa as well. They were taking summer courses in Quito, and seemed very nice. Arriving at 4:30 AM, we were a bit worried about our hostel situation, but we found out that our Cali friends were staying in the same hostel. So we tagged along. The wonderful owners of Amalur let us check-in and get a bit of rest before we would start our Friday off. Note: We planned on watching the sunrise at 6AM, but with the loud-ass fans tuning out our alarms, we overslept.
At around 8AM we rolled out of bed, and had breakfast for $3 at the hostel. The nice weather called our name, so we headed to the beach for some tanning. Or should I say: some BURNING. Although we applied sunscreen, the sun truly won. We each had a part of our bodies that resembled a damn langosta – candy red. To give our skin a bit of rest, especially after boogie boarding, we headed out for lunch along the beach at Hotel Bambu. For $5 we got some of the best almuerzo that consisted of a delicious soup, seco de pollo (amazeballs sauce on it), and a piece of flan. To top that all off, the juice of the day was some damn good, fresh limeade. After a bit of a food coma, we headed back to the beach. We spent the rest of our time simply swimming a bit, and soaking in the sun WITH MORE SUNSCREEN.
Right before we headed back to our hostel, we decided to get some henna tattoos. Paige got a sun behind her neck, Marissa got a different sun with a moon and star in it on her wrist, Rachel got a sun on her hip, and I got some birds “flying” from the middle of my back to my left shoulder blade. For $3, why not? As we waited for the artist to finish, we met an American guy from Oregon. We decided to go to Saboreame a recommendation from our tattoo artist. After a delicious dinner, we came across some of the surfer dudes we met at the beach, and headed to their bar for some banana coladas, caipirinhas, maracuya mojitos, and some dancing along the beach.
Saturday was filled with some more good food, fun on the beach (this time with a cabana to protect our already scorched skin), and Spanish practice. We hung out with some locals, played cards with them (we introduced Bullshit to them, and they loved it!), and then we went out for the night!
Our plan was to get dinner at Surf Shak, and then we’d take the 9:45 PM bus directly to Quito…. But we were having too much fun with Jenga and the locals (not just regular Jenga, but the one that has dares written on the bricks). So we stayed for the night, and we had already paid the hostel – why not?!
Sunday morning we checked out of our hostel and walked a few streets over to a corner where the buses usually drop-off and pick-up people. After 30 minutes and a few of the wrong buses, a bus passed with a worker screaming “Pedernales!” We hopped on for a 2 hour bus ride, then ate some great almuerzo in Pedernales before heading to Quito which took another 5-6 hours. Let’s just say that when locals tell you that the bus ride will take 4 hours… it might not be completely true.