Day nineteen: Puerto López, Ecuador

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We decide on a day trip to Puerto López – the main harbour servicing the whale watching trips nearby. We realise we’ve just missed the whale watching season, but given we have the choice of a damp unfinished shed, or repeating a trip to Montanita, we decide to get a taxi and head over to hang out at the fishing village for the day, stopping on the way to buy bus tickets for our trip back to Guayaquil tomorrow.

Puerto López is about 45 minutes away in a taxi (we’ve missed that day’s bus), again there’s no rear seat belts and today there’s just the three crosses hanging from the rear view mirror… oh, and dashboard carpet… what is the deal with that?

There are numerous street dogs along the route (alive I should add) which makes our journey all a bit slow and swervy. The street dogs choose to play there, sleep (yes, sleep) there, stand there and they really won’t move for a car. This is the main coastal road in Ecuador and the street dogs, on this section at least, own the road. The journey reminds us of parts of Bali, pretty poor, a bit muddy, a bit knackered and lush, lush green.

We arrive in Puerto López…

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If anyone ever suggests that you go to Puerto López on the coast of Ecuador. PLEASE DON’T. Unless of course you arrive within 20 minutes of your whale watching boat departure time and you have a car waiting to collect you from the boat afterwards. It is an absolute sh!thole.

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We walk amongst the fishermen, admire their catch (kind of), watch them restring their nets, shoo away about 15 street dogs, take in the number of boats emblazoned with either home-made Nike or Umbro logos (Nike won) and pondered why Adidas or Puma don’t have the same global aspirational qualities to make Ecuadorian fishermen reproduce bad copies of their logo on the side of their boats.

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In total we last about an hour and a half, and that includes some pretty extensive time wasting antics AND lunch before we can’t take anymore – we are back on the dog highway on a mission to find a bar in Montanita.

This time our taxi is a beaten up old Nissan covered in Ferrari stickers and this driver means business. He is not stopping for any street dogs…. but does slow down to beep his horn for any attractive women on the street. Nice.

Our journey time is almost halved and we’re back in the salvation of a lovely Montanita bar playing Uno, buying knock-off sunglasses, eating nachos with wine and wifi.

I take back all I said yesterday Montanita, in comparison to Puerto López, you are an absolute jewel in the Ecuadorian coastline.

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We retrace our steps from last night to see if we can find Mia’s jumper. Success! Mia’s jumper was at the little swimming costume shop we’d been to the day before. As luck would have it, Andy bumped into Mercedes just outside so she was able to help us ask.

On the way back to the taxi rank, we get the arm fist for not buying ceviche from a guy on the corner of the street. I don’t think he wasn’t expecting me to turn back around and see. I offered a very British nod of the head, a “thanks a lot”, a harsh stare and turned back. Bloody cold-fish-soup-selling-a.hole-in-a-pikey-hat. Sorry Montanita, my ‘jewel’ comment is revoked.

Tonight is our last night in the Eco Lodge… tomorrow we hit the road again.

Items found:

  • Mia’s jumper

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