Day Forty-Three

Mmm summer. We’ve spent the past three days lying on the beach, doing nothing. So nice and relaxing. It was cloudy on Wednesday and Thursday, but I managed to get some sun both days. It was nice and warm, and the salty ocean was so refreshing. Today we had a good couple hours of sun in the afternoon, and hopefully we’ll see some more before we leave on Sunday.
The night life here is pretty crazy. The whole town is just thumping with music and the streets are crowded with such a diverse array of people, of Ecuadoreans and tons and tons of gringos and Europeans and of course hippies. We’ve found our favorite restaurant/bar, Hola Ola, this funky place owned by these Israelis who recognize our group already when we come. It’s got this tiny pool, all these lights, a gravel/sand-ish dance floor in front of a large wooden stage, and it’s all open air, with just a roof. We went there first on Wednesday where they tried but failed to find the Stanley Cup Final (sad day), but the food was good and Raquel and I shared what was probably best piña colada I’ve had here, next to the one from Ayahuaska in Baños. We ended up watching bits of the game on one of our computers and then followed the updates on my phone, but we were all pretty bummed. We did go dancing afterwards for a while though, at this place called Nativa Bambu right on the water with a view of the ocean from the dancefloor. But the highlight of the night for me was swimming in the ocean around two or three in the morning. We ran back to the hotel under a light rain, grabbed our swimsuits, then spent a good hour in the warm, salty waves. It was all lit because the streets come right up to the shore, and we could hear the music pounding from Nativa Bambu, which made the experience that much more memorable. The only other downer of the night was that my phone got stolen while I was swimming, which sucks, but I’ve only got two more days left in Ecuador anyway, and the phones don’t work in Peru apparently. Wow, I hadn’t even thought about that…my Ecuadorean adventure ends when we cross the border into Peru via bus, either Sunday or early Monday…wow, how time flies.
The main annoyances here are sand and bugs. My feet are constantly caked with sand, and I’ve been wearing my swimsuit under my clothes everywhere because it’s just easier. But it’s literally impossible to brush all the sand off, because my skin’s perpetually sticky with sunscreen and drying salt water. But we’re dealing with it, and it’s nothing compared to the bugs at least for me. There aren’t that many mosquitoes, but I swear, the entire population of Montañita’s mosquitoes and bugs have bitten me. Even now, after I started taking Vitamin B Complex pills, which Brooke’s mom in Cuenca recommended as a way to keep the bugs from biting you. But nevertheless, I’m covered in three different types of bug bites: the small red ones from the first night, which we thought were bed bugs, but later found out that like everyone here has them; mosquitoes, and spiders. What a joy it is to be dotted in red bites, in a plethora of sizes and itch factors. That said, they haven’t been causing me too much pain, except at night, like right now, when I can consciously feel more of them biting me. I’m gonna lotion up with some Deet before we go for dinner…how I love smelling like chemicals.
But I don’t want to appear to be complaining so much, because in all honesty I do really like it here; it’s just so relaxing and laid back and it gives us a sense of what the Ecuadorean coast is like, much different from the Sierra. I’m with a really good group, even now after my two closest friends left. I’m so stoked to hike Machu Picchu with them; it’s gonna be such a blast.
Today’s the two-week mark; I’ll be back in Seattle in two weeks. Wow, time just flies! It’s been exactly six weeks…it doesn’t even feel like it’s been that long. But, as I hope I’ve conveyed through my posts, it’s been six remarkable weeks, ones that I know for sure won’t be my last ones in this country. Even though I’m leaving on Sunday, I know I’ll be back. No será un adiós, sino un hasta luego. And that makes me smile.

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