Day eighteen: Montanita, Ecuador

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It’s our first morning waking up in the Eco Lodge. Well, I say Eco Lodge, but this morning it feels more like an unfinished (albeit quite stylish) wooden shed.

We have all had a terrible night – it rained constantly with the noise on the tin roof keeping most of us awake. That, plus the design of the building has several gaps (let’s call them windows) which let both the rain and the damp in. Today may be a slow day.

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We head back down to the main house to see Mercedes, the owner, now following the instructions she shared yesterday to keep to the path (my pretties) as the grass contains difficult-to-get-off-bugs. We have a lovely cooked breakfast in what can only be described as a bamboo workshop with art paper as our table cloth.

There are two students from France staying for a while to study with George (the Eco Lodge architect) to help create a furniture line using similar methods and materials to that of his Eco Lodges. They are very sweet and help serve the breakfast, most of which is home or at least locally made. The rain continues and we use the time for home schooling in the bamboo workshop (maths, reading and creative writing today).

Late morning and we find ourselves sat with a decent coffee in a Montanita cafe… people watching. It’s clear that Montanita is home to an eclectic mix of people… backpackers, locals, foreigners who look like they arrived a long time ago and chose to stay, some hippie-types, surfers, long term travellers, some wearing shoes and some choosing not to.

Montanita is a surfing, party town and – not for the first time – we don’t see anybody who looks like us…. a British family of five! It’s 11am and the town is just waking up from the aftermath of whatever happened last night, with some people already back on the beer. 

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We take a walk along the beach and it’s giving us an unfair first impression. Many beach resorts look pretty miserable in the rain and Montanita is no exception. I’m sure it looks better with people on it, with surfers hanging out, with cafes open and sunshine reflecting on the waves.

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Today though…. it’s all a bit dull and grey. We walk the coastline for a while, stumble across a dead turtle (just to add to the general ambiance), lots of jellyfish and some pretty cool green stones washed up by the sea. 

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We do long jump competitions, find some swing ropes to play on and another slack-line for the children to have a go on. Today is all a very gentle amble and we decide to add ‘film night’, ‘pop corn buying’ and ‘finding Mia a new swimsuit’ to the list of things we must do today. We succeed with two and fail on one (popcorn).

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We finish our Montanita visit with a marathon session of Uno, accompanied by happy-hour-gin-and-tonic while sitting on wooden pallet furniture in a Mexican restaurant. Happy days.

Items lost: 

  • Mia’s (only) jumper

Items bought:

  • New swimming costume

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