Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Well Deserved Break...

This past weekend, Dave and I travelled to Ecuador's premiere surf beach with a group of friends. It was the first three-day weekend we have had for awhile, and we were all looking forward to lounging on the beach and playing in the warm water.

Alas, it was not to never stopped raining the entire time we were there. But no worries, we still had a wonderful time in the muddy (and I mean muddy) streets of Montanita.

We stayed in this wonderful hostel, Charro's, that was right on the beach. The rooms were clean and actually had hot water, something Dave and I are lacking in our apartment right now. Our room faced the beach and had a hammock on the patio that looked over the ocean. We were able to go to sleep to the sound of crashing waves outside our window. Well, the first night we got crashing waves; the second night there was a party going on next door until the wee hours of the morning so we went to sleep with the sound of the thumping bass from all the greatest 80's hits. You win some, you lose some.

Due to the rain, we spent a lot of our time in the tiny restaurants that pack the streets, enjoying the Ecuadorian tradition of taking your time with a meal. We could also find just about anything we were craving to eat: Italian, Chinese, middle-eastern, pancakes with nuttella (so yummy). But our greatest culinary adventure had to be the street-meat cart.

Now, we have been warned against the street vendors of Ecuador but I couldn't resist grilled corn on the cob. A more adventurous man than Dave or I, sampled the cart's offerings the day before. When he did not crumple with food-poisoning, we decided to give it a go as well. We gathered the troops, so if one of us went down we would all go down, and purchased some of the best corn I have had for awhile. The girls first grilled the corn, then lathered it with a sauce that was reminiscent of ranch dressing, and finally rolled the corn in a type of crumbled cheese. It was tasty.

The rain did continue to pour down the entire weekend, but it was not enough to discourage the boys from enjoying the water. As the women stayed as dry as possible, playing cards, talking, and laughing, the men decided to take advantage of Montanita's waves and learn body surfing.

It was a great weekend with only a few things I wouldn't care to see again:

* Dave watched a citizen arrest of a drunk driver in the early morning hours. It seemed like the entire town gathered to pull this guy out of his car. I like the idea of a town working together to protect everyone.

* Saturday morning we woke up to gun shots being fired outside of our hostel. A guard had noticed a tussle between a man and two women who had obviously been partying all night. The guard decided to scare them off by shooting four shots into the air. I slept right through it, but the others in our traveling party were treated to quite the soap opera entertainment.

* Due to the rain, the bugs were plentiful and they loved me. I got over thirty mosquito bites, which I'm allergic to. Of course, I was the only one who the creatures decided to feast on. Lesson learned-always bring bug spray.

Our next adventure will be to Banos during the Thanksgiving holidays. This trip promises a mountain bike adventure, spa treatments in the $20 range, and river rafting. We can't wait!