Spanish and Surf in Montañita



So I had to waste 3 hours because the hostel wouldn't let me check in, even though I was pretty minging after my overnight at the airport. Frozen yoghurt and a $1 hamburger was a suitable consolation.
There isn't too much to see in Guayaquil so I walked along the seafront, called Malecon2000. At the end there is a hill covered in lots of quaint coloured houses and at the top a pretty church and lighthouse. So in the 34 degree midday heat I decided to walk the 550 steps to the top. The set of stairs was quite steep, winding up through the houses, past art galleries, restaurants, lots of flowers and hanging baskets. I also went to Bolivar Park which is a small square in front of a church and it's full of iguanas lazing in the sun and a small pond with turtles, fish and terrapins. I stayed and watched the iguanas for a while, two of them were fighting by bashing heads. I found it rather amusing until a guy came and pulled them apart. Spoil sport. 

Next morning I caught the public transport bus to the coach terminal instead of a taxi because it was only 25 cents. The bus was packed and I was struggling to stand with both my bags. A young girl gave me her seat and two guys helped move my bags over. You hear so many bad stories about here but people are so much friendlier and helpful than at home. I got off at the terminal and was totally lost. There were buses everywhere but I couldn't figure out how to get a national bus and not a local one. I walked around sweating with my bag, trying not to panic. I managed to get some directions and waddled off over the bridge to the other departure terminal. Once inside I couldn't find the ticket office. There's 3 floors and I walked up and down and around every floor. I was pretty pissed off and tired by this point. But I discovered there was an outer ring to the building and finally bought a ticket. I trekked all the way back upstairs and sat on the floor to read while waiting. A security guard came over after about 10 minutes and I figured he wanted me to move. So I stood out the way where another woman was also waiting. 2 minutes later a different security guard came over saying something in Spanish. I don't know why but even when you say you don't speak Spanish, then talk in English, they still talk at you in Spanish. I looked at the woman also waiting and she gave me a look and shrugged. Then the guy was pointing at a waiting room and picked up my bag to help me move it. I didn't want him to and tried to take it but he got a bit annoyed and talked louder pulling my bag away from me. He asked if I was married. Really strange thing to ask someone. So he lumbered me down to the waiting area and all was fine. I've no idea what that was about but was a bit disgruntled by it. A few hours later I arrived in Montanita, wahay! 

Monday and first day of Spanish class. It was intense. This was followed by a surf lesson, in which I was terrible. I couldn't stand up on the board, got bashed by the waves, have arms too short to carry the surf board, had to jog on the beach in my bikini. Wasn't the best I've ever looked. Then lunch for an hour and another 2 hour Spanish class. At the end of the day I was exhausted! There was a group dinner at 7.30 so I headed to that and had a good night with everyone. We went to cocktail alley, which is a street lined with stalls making fresh fruit cocktails for $3. So good yet so bad! 




I was pretty well behaved all week, going to classes and revising afterwards. On the second surf lesson one of the girls stood on a stingray when in the water and got stung. Apparently it had happened the day before. That was enough for me. Anyone that knows me will know the extent of my fear of sea creatures.
So I had a good roll of being weirdo-less but now it was time for the universe to do its duty. I sat in a restaurant at lunch and got myself a banana and caramel crepe. Oh yes. The waiter noticed I was learning Spanish and sat down to talk to me. It was good because I could practice my Spanish a bit. But then he asked if he could take me out on Monday, up to one of the other coastal towns where you can do some walking. Awkward. I left as quick as I could. One street I now needed to avoid! Most days were the same, Spanish lessons and revision. Most days I would get a coffee and sit reading through my notes. Coffee here is a mug of hot water and a jar of Nescafe. Yes, that's what they serve you in restaurants. 

Wednesday I went down the the beach to watch volleyball at sunset. Thursday I went to dinner with one of the girls from Spanish school and 2 of her friends that had come to visit who were both also traveling. We met at 6 for some beers then went for food followed by a few pina coladas in cocktail alley. It was about midnight by this point and I knew next day in lessons were going to be painful. There was a guy giving out leaflets for a bar called Hola Ola, $5 entry with free drinks. Decision made. I arrived home at 3am.
Friday was indeed painful. Ecuadorian slang for a hangover is chuchucki. I was definitely chuchucki. I went to the organised BBQ in the evening but was tucked up in bed by 11pm.



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