Surfer’s Paradise, Montañita (end of Sept 2014)

50km from Jama to Canoa 19th
76km to crucita 21st Sep
120km to Puerto Cayo 22nd Sep
34km to Puerto Lopez 23rd Sep
46km to Montañita 25th Sep
326km total

1853km in South America
23,361km so far

Well, after I developed a severe chafing problem, we have been resting in Montañita, while I take pills and cream. These things happen and as frustrating as it is to have this delay, I know I have to recover fully before continuing as cycling obviously makes it worse. But what a great place to be stuck.

Firstly we spent a couple of days in Canoa, as we loved it. It has a quiet beach with plenty of nice affordable places to stay, and very chilled out bars all along the malecón (beach front). At night we went to the liveliest hostel, coco loco and after teaching some German girls the basics of salsa dancing, we all went out and kicked some sand around at the beach bars.

Crucita was disappointing and the weather was terrible. We shopped around to be able to find a room for 15 dollars. And left early the next day. Then we cut inland past Bahia de Caraquez across Ecuador’s longest bridge. The town itself was a delapidated remnant of the sixties and also sadly you cannot continue to cycle along the coast. Also, after that point there were no places to stay. At 5pm and after 80km we arrived back at the coast at San Lorenzo, (another San Lorenzo?) but foolishly decided to keep going. Surely there would be somewhere along the seafront for two tired cyclists? Well no. Not until Puerto Cayo, another 40km. Well although I was proud of Paola for cycling 120km for the first time, there would be another hour before she started to talk to me again. We stayed at Hostal Los Frailes, who gave us a reasonably priced room but then overcharged us for beer.
A shorter day to Puerto Lopez which is a very dirty, muddy town. They have no drainage system so there’s nowhere for all the sand, dirt and water to go. It was quite strange for such a big town.
The big draw was a trip to Isla de la plata booked via Hostal Fragata where we were staying. This day-trip is a great low-budget option if you can’t afford to fly to the Galápagos Islands and it was a spectacular day for 40 dollars per person, with lunch included. And the massive highlight was seeing the tails of humpback whales splashing around.


And finally a short day to Montañita. We were offered a place by a young Argentinian couple on arrival and it was bang in the centre which was ok on a Thursday but we moved further along the beach on the Friday as the town becomes party central and sleep would be almost impossible. It is a fantastic place to learn to surf, to party , to meet cool people and also just to relax (massage on the beach anyone?). While I have been drinking fresh fruit shakes, and having a massage, Paola has had 2 surfing lessons and can now nearly stand up!

We have been here a week (it’s 2nd October!) but tomorrow we move on South, towards Ballenita, just outside Salinas.

Thanks for reading,
From a hammock, by the beach, Montañita, Ecuador.

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