Wednesday, 5 April 2017


From the 24th to the 26th of March we went on our first 'weekend away.' We headed north west to the coast of Ecuador - Specifically to Montañita which is one of the most famous surf beaches in Ecuador. Montañita is a small, laid-back surf town with it's own chill culture and a variety of travellers - mostly young.

We left at the extremely early hour of 2:30am to ensure we arrived at the beaches early Friday morning. The bus ride went well for almost the entire journey as we mostly slept and had a few stops for toilets but we 'hit a bump in the road' when our big tour bus tried to go down a dirt road after heavy rainfall in an attempt to reach our first beach 'Playa Rosada'... And so began the  first of the weekend's adventures.

We ended up stuck in the mud for 2 hours before help arrived! During these 2 hours we made a few attempts ourselves to get the bus out of the mud but alas the situation was only made worse and we gave up and sat inside the bus trying not to trample the sticky mud everywhere and avoiding the rain and muggy air. 

I was never so happy as to see the giant digger and dump truck come round the corner, especially since the words "apparently a man is on his way to help" could literally mean anything here in Ecuador. Not going to lie I was expecting something like a small family car with a tow bar to come round the corner 😂

When we finally got out of the mud, we arrived in Montañita around 1.30pm and checked into our hostal. We stayed at the Iguana Backpackers and were on the loft floor which was open and had around 12 beds along the floor (see picture below).

Once we'd sorted our bedding situation and put on some cooler clothes (average temperature was 27℃) we went out as a group to find something to eat. Most of the group ended up with a seafood dish - as you would expect being on the coast but for (now) obvious reasons I avoided the shellfish and had a chicken dish.

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the beach and taking in the vibe of the place. Within half an hour of sitting we were offered all manner of things including 'Happy Brownies' (a common occurrence in Montañita) to which we politely declined. After this we headed back to the hostal and joined Happy Hour before heading out to find some dinner. After dinner some of the others went out clubbing and dancing on the beach but as I was on antibiotics and couldn't really drink and was also incredibly tired from the early start and mud palava, I decided to head back to the hostal with a few of the others (it was only 10pm) and try and get a decent sleep so I could stay out longer on the Saturday night.

On Saturday morning we had breakfast at the hostal at around 8.30am. Breakfast was a fried egg, bread roll and fresh fruit.

At 10am we boarded the bus to head to one of the nicer beaches just over an hour out of Montañita called 'Playa de los Frailes.' I think the pictures below will speak for themselves. We were also very lucky in that it was super sunny when we went and we spent most of the morning bathing in the tepid waters of the beach (I think all us Kiwis were surprised when we got in the water and we weren't hopping around trying to get used to the water temperature!). In fact the water was so warm it was barely even refreshing compared to the air temperature. It was super relaxing and a very lovely morning indeed.

After the beach we headed to a town nearby (can't recall the name) and got some lunch (which was incredibly average and we waited more than an hour for!). Once we'd finally all eaten we got back on the bus and headed back towards Montañita however first we stopped at a lookout near a place called Olón which had the most breathtaking views and even had a gorgeous church built on the edge of a cliff. We were told that it was expected for the church to fall into the water within the next 5-10 years so feeling pretty priviliged to see it whilst it's still standing.

When we got back to the hostal, I had a quick shower in an attempt to cool off but that lasted all of 10 seconds before I was sticky and sweaty again -  the joys of humid places. We had dinner at the hospital which was a big BBQ (only worth it if you're going to eat lots which I did not do). We partied there for a while before leaving to go clubbing and dancing on the beach. Managed to stay out later than the Friday night and it was good fun. 

The next morning (Sunday) we had breakfast and packed up our stuff before getting delicious Nutella, banana and strawberry crepes as our 'lunch' before we got back on the bus to head back to Cuenca. The bus ride was long and I slept most of the way and took in the incredible sunset in the moments when I was awake. We left about lunchtime and got back to Cuenca at 10pm. 

Overall the trip was good fun, although I definitely couldn't have sustained staying in the muggy heat for more than the 3 days we were there. Bring on the next trip!

Georgia xx

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