Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Montañita de las Fiestas

Again I've been slacking on updates!  In my defense, I spent most of my time in Baños working, and thus came up with nothing very blog-worthy.  After that I spent five days in Montañita, a small, excessively touristy party town on the Pacific coast of Ecuador.  It reminded me a lot of Galway, in that it's essentially one constant, perpetually overcast carnival filled with hippies and weirdos, and so small that if there's someone you are trying to avoid you'll absolutely run into them five times a day.  I picked up three stalkers in five days, which is a new record for me.

Otherwise, I met my lovely friend Jean!  She's been in Montañita for a few weeks doing an ESL course, and she recently left for her new job teaching English in Puyo in the center of Ecuador.  Luckily, we got a few good days in of hanging out surfing, drinking beers, and eating ceviche, though not all at the same time.

She introduced me to her cool friend Jorge who taught me how to surf for the very first time.  It was thrilling, waiting for that moment when you feel yourself caught up in the wave and speeding along to the shore, and I even managed to stand up a couple of times.  Of course, the other fifty times I ended up getting knocked over by the waves and then getting punched in the ribs or clobbered in the head by my rogue surfboard.  But it's all part of the experience, I guess.

The next night we went to a beach party where there was a live brass band and the dance floor was just sand.  And the next day I did the most amazing thing of possibly any trip I've ever taken, which was ride a horse along the beach!  I've never actually galloped on a horse before, so it was sublime, in the Romantic sense of the word connoting awe and terror at the power of nature, to go thundering down the sand next to the waves and these stormy, dark clouds over the horizon.  Jorge and I had this little colt tagging along next to our horses, frolicking in and out of the waves, and then this pack of stray dogs came sprinting out of the sand dunes to race joyously along next to us.  I seriously felt like the king of the cowboys; of course, that was four days ago and my legs are still sore, but it was worth it.

I have since fled Montañita, as it's much too touristy and party-addled to stay for long, and gone to Puerto Lopez, a smallish, quiet town to the north.  The ocean here is much more peaceful and deserted, with men fishing in boats off the coast and flocks of enormous pelicans swooping back and forth over them, bobbing up and down in the water looking for handouts.  We shall see what this town holds!

No comments:

Post a Comment