After a productive spell in Guayaquill with updating my journal, am off once again to the Pacific coast for the week, to a town called Puerto López. This time, the attraction is the somewhat calmer waters for snorkeling and daily swim. Oh, and study some more from my Spanish self study book too, of course!
The bus ride was looong. The length was punctuated with talks with an Ecuadorian professor, who was very very chatty, and would periodically tap me on the arm, and say, "Yat...!" and begin a new conversation, and laugh. Towards the end of the ride, when I was almost falling asleep, the smell of boiled sweetcorn woke me up promptly, and provided me with a bit of snack!
Checked into the Hostel Sol Inn, and found an even nicer room than the one shared with Iris in Montañita! For only $5, have a large spacious, almost Japanese like room, with bamboo linings. Not to mention the bed... Very nice! Yes, I think I would be quite happy staying here!! The people there were also very friendly.
The town of Puerto López is quite different from Montañita. I had expected it to be pretty developed, as many tourists come here for Isla de la Plata - Poor Man's Galapagos. But not many tourists in town at the moment, and it's pretty dusty and sleepy. A local told me that people don't work, until they are down to their $40. So they sit in their hammocks instead, until then! Pura vida or what?!?!
The beach looked nice, until walked along it. Was tempted to take some bin liners to the beach, and pick up all the rubbish there! But I guess the beaches to the north, or to the south of town should be nicer and cleaner. Will wait and see!
Met a couple of German guys from Leipzig, and surprised them by saying I really liked the Hauptbahnhof (train station) at Leipzig. Jakob is taking half a year off after working in a radio station for five years, and will be starting uni this autumn. He will travel down to Argentina as well, when finished with his Spanish school in Quito. Being German, of course, he is picking up Spanish really quickly. Sounds like he's learnt all the tenses already after only four weeks of Spanish school!! Daniel, an economics student is in Ecuador for three weeks, as Jakobs's first visitor. He's also a veggie, so we can eat together! Except that he can't eat meat for medical reasons, so I feel kinda fussy for not wanting to to eat, when it's not a matter of life and death.
Anyway, we went into a few agencies together to check out tour packages. Were deterred to go to Isla de la Plata now, as there aren't many birds there at the moment. Plus it costs $30 for the boat ride, as it is 40km away, and also another $15-20 entrance fee as it is a National Park. Was recommended instead to take a tour to Isla Salango, which is only half an hour away by boat, there are almost as many birds there as on Isla de la Plata, and there would be more time to do some snorkeling. As we won't land on the actual island, wouldn't have to pay the park entrance fee, hence saving lots of money! So... maybe we will book the tour later today... Will see, will see...