Ecuador

It was awesome to see Simon and Renee again. We’re heading the same way with slightly different agendas, but as often as possible we meet up and play Carcassone or some card game whose name I forget, or just hang out. They’re staying with their German friends in an apartment in Cuenca, doing some hardcore Spanish study. Cuenca is one of the most recommended retirement destinations for Americans looking to stretch their dollars outside of Florida.
Sometimes you have such a good time in one place, that the next one starts off with a huge disadvantage. So it was with Moñtanita, the next surf town down the coast of Ecuador, the main beach destination in the country. And not only was I suffering with the hangover of Canoa, but Moñtanita itself was dead, as the crowds are only really around during the high season. A small village that’s quiet is to be expected, but an empty party town is just depressing.
It was cloudy almost all the time, but on the last night we got one glorious sunset over the Pacific.
At spring low tide, it’s possible to access all three caves just north of Canoa town. We only managed to get to the first one after scrambling over the bluff.
There’s nothing quite like watching a child handle a kitten as if it were a stuffed animal. The cats have it good generally - lots of fresh fish, and barring the occasional dog snapping at them, plenty of safe space to roam. But when a small child gets them…
The weather wasn’t great - strong onshore wind and overcast all the time, for the entire 6 days. But, the excellent company and chilled hippy vibes more than made up for the poor weather conditions. I still managed to sneak in a few waves between the chop. The surfing would be amazing in the right season, miles of beachbreak in both directions. We stayed at the Coco Loco hostel, drank homemade fruity rum cocktails and ate all the ice creams and fresh seafood in town.
Toucans, parrots, turkeys, woodpeckers. I took all these photos by holding my small Canon camera against the lens of the telescope.
Made it to the Southern Hemisphere. Not much to say about Quito - it’s a bustling, polluted city that I didn’t really explore too much. Sometimes it’s necessary to stop for a day or two just to skim through the guidebooks and get an idea of what a country has to offer. The Secret Garden Hostel did have a terrific view over the city though.