Ecuador: Ayampe and Puerto Lopez, Ecuador – LoungeFest!!
My next destination was the coast and the beach. Time to swap out the sweater for flip flops!! But first, I had to go through Guayaquil. Guayaquil, with 2 million people, is the largest city in Ecuador. Besides describing it as expensive, the guidebook really didn’t list anything that I found worth seeing, so I was hoping that I could get in and out as quickly as possible. We arrived at the bus terminal at noon and there was a bus leaving north along the Ruta del Sol that left 25 minutes later. Perfect! I’m starting to think that there is ALWAYS a bus leaving…makes it easy to travel with no plans!
My final destination was Ayampe, about 3 hours up the coast, but I was told I was going to have to make a stop in Montañitas, first. I could tell from the blurb about it in the guidebook, that it was going to be a place that I would not like. Sure enough, as soon as I got off the bus, I heard Bob Marley coming out of all the bars, all the menus were in English only and the streets were flooded with displaced American and European hippies. Ugh. But, it was already dark so I decided to check into the Funky Monkey Hotel (yet another indication of what this place is like) and wait it out til morning. I figured I could at least try and score a good seafood meal while I was there, but even that was a challenge. While trying to eat my not-so-good shrimp dish, I had to shoo away about 5 uncharming, and unsolicited, whiskey laced suitors. What is it about a gal eating alone that makes these guys think I need their drunken company?? Now thoroughly annoyed I decided to call it a night, even though it was only 8…and was able to listen to the thump, thumping of the club below me until the wee hours of the morning. Rant over.
The next morning I did the skedaddle and headed for Ayampe, which couldn´t have been more different from Montañitas and was perfect. The book described it as a place where there is nothing to do but relax, and they nailed it!!
Today, I am in Puerto Lopez which is a slightly bigger town and I am about to head out to the beach (although I`m kind of crispy) to wait for another overnight bus to Quito tonight.