We made a rare, early start from Monpiche, eager to get settled in time for a nice afternoon laze on the beach in Canoas, and left with the early morning mist still in the air. We headed down the bumpy dirt road and back onto the Ruta Del Sol, but after an hour of riding down the “Sun Route” there was still no sign of the sun.
The ride was bumpy but colorful, and we passed small wooden houses on the side of the road, mostly sporting brightly painted slogans on the side, and the children playing by the side of the road waved animatedly at us as we rumbled by.
As usual , we saw more horses on the road than cars, and all along the side of the roads, varieties of beans, coffee and cocoa, were neatly laid out to dry.
We rode over a bridge and looked down to see the local women all doing their washing in the stream. We stopped to take photos and the women looked back at us, waving and laughing. We felt like we were a million miles from Quito.
We rode on, until we came to the seaside town of Perinales, and decided to take a break for some Ceviche-the delicious South American fish dish where the fish is cooked in lime juice without the help of heat- in one of the seafront restaurants. We were just sitting down at a table when I was grabbed round the neck from behind. I thought my luck had run out, but then I heard the familiar laugh of our friend from Quito, Ricardo.
He was there with his family, enjoying the long weekend, and had done the same as us, stopped in Perinales for a lunch break before returning to the city.
We all sat together and enjoyed our lunch with a couple of drinks and a lot of laughter. Ricardo recommended us a Hostel with Cabanas on the beach in Canoas called Baloo, and when we said it sounded like a good idea, he phone them up from his cell phone and made a reservation for us.
We parted ways and after negotiating more of the “under construction” roads of Ecuador, we arrived in Canoas.
The sleepy , sandy streets of downtown Canoas
Our bungalow at Baloo
The town was a sleepy surfer town, with sandy roads and hostels, restaurants, shops and bars lining the seafront. We made our way directly to Baloo, checked into one of the quaint bungalows, and made our way down to the beach, the sun had finally come out, just in time!
We sat on the beach relaxing until the sun began to drop down towards the horizon before heading back to Baloo for a sunset cocktail.
The manager was in the bar, and apologized for the state of the cocktail menu, saying they had been meaning to redo it for some time, adding some more exotic cocktails.
“I could help you there if you like” I blurted out, “ I am an award winning cocktail bartender, and could easily write you out a new list and train your bartenders”
The manager was overjoyed, and offered us a free night in the Cabana if I would work with her them for a day , redesigning their drinks list.
Jacquie was up for it, so we I wrote out a little shopping list for the manager, mainly fresh fruit and some juices, and agreed to meet in the bar the following afternoon.
That night I sketched out some ideas on a pad, and after a morning chilling on the beach, we went back to the bar to start shaking things up.
Me mixed, muddled and blended until all the hostel’s staff and guests, including Jacquie, were about to fall over.
The “training” went well, and the manager asked if I could do one more session, of course, we could have the cabana for free for another night. I looked over at Jacquie, who vigorously nodded her head in agreement, free accommodation AND free drinks, nice!
I went surfing with one of the guests from the hostel, and then as the sun went down , went back to the bar for more training, more cocktails, and more fun.
We woke up the next morning slightly heavy headed, packed up , and made our way out of town to get the ferry across the bay to get to Ayampe, where Ricardo’s brother owned a Finca. Our trip was cut short when we arrived late for the ferry to see a huge line of cars waiting for the next boat. The tide had gone out and the water was too shallow for a crossing, we inquired when the next boat was due to cross, and were told that there wouldn’t be another boat for 4 hours. We were also told that the road round the bay was in terrible condition, and would take us about the same time, which would mean that it would be dark by the time we got to the other side. We decided to go back to Baloo and get an early start the next morning.
We turned round and rode back to Canoas, where we were given our old cabana back for one more night, in exchange for a few more cocktails and getting the staff drunk again, a sweet deal.
The next day we made it to the “Ferry” on time, gingerly road down the beach and onto the boat’s platform , and crossed over to the other side, where we continued down the Ruta Del Sol, once again devoid of sunshine, along the coast and to Ayampe.
Riding down the beach to the "Ferry"
Posted by Dan Shell at December 29, 2009 01:36 AM GMT
And tip-toeing on board