After spending several weeks exploring the Andes and the Amazon, it was time to hit the beach. I took a bus to Guayaquil, stayed one night in the metropolis, and caught another 3 hour bus the next morning. I could smell the salt in the air as we rambled along the Pacific Coast on the way to Montañita.
The hippie surf town was in full swing for the Carinval celebration. I grabbed my backpack from underneath the bus, navigated my way through the throngs of partying tourists, and found my way to the outskirts of town. I climbed a steep hill to Punto Verde, an eco-hostel overlooking the fiesta below. I was shown to my room, which included my own private hammock on the deck with a great ocean view…perfect!
I quickly got to know the town and the staff of the hostel and set up shop for the week. Each morning I was treated to an incredible home cooked breakfast. Completely stuffed, I would sit for a few hours and work from the main table while watching the waves crashing on the beach below.
After lunch I grabbed my running pack and took off exploring. At low tide I ran for hours in each direction, passing through tiny fishing villages and deserted beaches, finding sand dollars and sea urchins in the tide pools.
The evenings around Punto Verde were very relaxing. One night joined my friend Jerry for pizza and beer at the beach. I met him back in Quito and he was spending the week in Olón with friends that own a lodge and spa. Most evenings I hung out with the staff at the hostel, including Mike from Texas and Kevin from Denver. Joos, the hostel owner, has traveled all around the world and she has some incredible stories. We ate delicious homemade meals and chatted over cold beers. The sunset lit up the sky over the Pacific, making for some breathtaking views from my hammock on the deck.
After an amazing week in Montañita, working, playing, and exploring, it was time to repack my bag and hit the road. I’d been traveling solo for nearly a month and had met some truly incredible people along the way, but there is something to be said for seeing a familiar face. My brother Tyler was en route to South America and I planned to meet him in Guayaquil so we could grab a flight to our next adventure destination, the Galapagos Islands!