• Joanna

Ayangue & a Little Hungry Too

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

There I was in beautiful, and eerily quiet, Ayangue.  When I arrived on Sunday, the place was seriously hopping with people and beach bars and vendors and local crafts...

But then Monday came... and it was just me!  So I took the opportunity to walk along the beach and wander throughout the town, which is very small.  I sat on the beach and read... wandered some more... Pretty boring, uneventful day...


There are little beach cabanas everywhere... and by this, I mean that there are small pop up 15x15 'only top' tents scattered along the shore, with old plastic deck chairs underneath them - ranging in price from $5-$7US to rent for the day... the whole tent, that is.  This seems reasonable for a family of 15 or a school group... but for just me?  It's too expensive considering the return on investment! I just want to sit down in the sun for an hour, without getting sand in my bum.


Speaking of sitting down, I also thought I might want tolie down ... catch some rays... read a bit and maybe have a nap on the beach.  I knew that this was going to make up the majority of my day... and there was no way I could go in the water with so few bait & buffers at the beach.  I would definitely get eaten if I ventured in on my own.

Problem is that I don't have a beach towel.  Now, I can hardly afford to get one, considering the current state of my already overflowing & hefty backpack... but I figured I would probably need one...  My entire upcoming week is going to be spent at the beach.  Plus... my big, clever plan is to ship some stuff home when I get to Puerto Lopez... right?


Not a beach towel in town.


I challenge anyone to find one.  You can purchase floaties, beach balls, knitted bikini tops, toy elephants made out of shells, large tacky hats, summer dresses, sippy cups... but no beach towels.  Believe me... Ayangue is a small town... and I went in to EVERY shop.


At first, I didn't know the word for'towel'... so I attempted to explain exactly what I needed by doing a very convincing & crowd pleasing impression of'toweling off'despuese del bano...*after the bath...

But alas... no towels... so sand it is and sand it shall be.  One beach bar guy let me sit in his seats, provided I drink beer.  Ahh... the sacrifices we make in life.


The one thing about this day that was really starting to gnaw at me was my inextinguishable hunger.  I tried to fight it... but who I would have killed for a piece of Lasagna...  and what I would have done for a pep & ched...


Just so that everyone is clear,  this blog post is mostly just me being hungry, angry and cranky... hangkry.


You've been warned.


I have reached a point in my journey where I can not digest ONE more ounce of rice, not one more banana or plantain or empanada...  Absolutely no more'pan con queso'(*bread with cheese)or scrambled eggs...   I have also eaten my fair share of fried fish & chicken in the past two weeks and I'm done...

I need something different.


And sometimes, understandably (I think), you just want to spruce it up...


*In saying this, I do realize that I made mention earlier about potentially living here, solely for the fried plantains and the multi-coloured toilets... but like most extremists, I ate them (plantains... not toilets) every single day and am now sick of them...

**But... also, in saying THAT, when I was in Italy, every single day for over a month, I would sit down at lunch and have a caprese salad and a 1/4 litre of red wine.


Guess it's all in what you love, like and are able to tolerate...


Like any diligent traveler, I had a quick look on Google Maps to see exactly what was out there in the culinary world of Ayangue.


Much to my delight... I found a Thai Restaurant AND a Pizzeria... on my way!

My first thought... I could really go for some Thai.  VERY unusual to find a Thai restaurant in such a small town in Ecuador, but,why not?  It ended up being Comedor Thalia... otherwise known as Thalia's Dining Room.  I'm an idiot.


Not to worry... just a couple blocks down was the La Dolce Vita Pizzeria.  I could almost taste it... or maybe I couldn't... because it didn't exist.  I must have circled that 4 block radius about 11 times looking.


Nothing.


I finally succumbed to a bag of Doritos and a Virgin Pina Colada.... that's right, Virgin.  I didn't need alcohol... I needed substance.  Sipping on my Pineapple Coconut concoction, I was caught in the cross fireof'Cocteleno Theo'and'Cocteleno Yadira'... two cocktail joints, separated by a mere 3 metres at best... both with their own favourite Spanish hip hop at full density.   It was not a particularly relaxing beach virgin cocktail... 

After a brief nap back at the B&B, I ventured out to find something to eat...again...and at this point, I was starving.  I figured I could eat just about anything...except bananas, rice, scrambled eggs, chicken, fish or cheese... 


I checked out every single menu along the way(they are ALL the same)and finally decided to treat myself to Lobster.  I'm in a coastal town... I'm starving... I like Lobster... it's not toooooooo expensive.  I haven't yet had lobster on this trip... 


Lobster it is.


My choices were- 

  • Lobster natural.

  • Lobster with garlic.

  • Lobster with butter.

  • Lobster stuffed.

  • Lobster grilled.

  • Lobster with rice.

  • Lobster with gratin.

I chose the Lobster with garlic.

Couldn't help but think though... what ifI wanted Garlic Lobster stuffed AND grilled, served with a side of butter and some rice...?


Come to think of it... we all know that I don't think I'll ever order the'side of butter'here ever again...


I don't like the menu options... it doesn't leave a lot of room open to be high maintenance.


But lucky for them and probably for me, they were out of lobster.... so I chose the next best thing- and the fastest thing I could decide on while the waiter stood there staring at me.  


I chose Shrimp Spaghetti.


Ok... once again, I apologize for my continual negativity... but... 

  1. The spaghetti sauce was a mixture of ketchup and margarine.  I know it. (the waiter even brought me more ketchup in case I wanted to add more... They call ketchup, 'salsa de tomate' which gives you the impression that it's tomato salsa, but it's not...)

  2. Rice... again.

  3. Deep fried plantains... again.

  4. And then... my worst fear came true right in front of my face... cilantro ALL over it.  Tiny, small pieces of cilantro cooked in with all of it.  NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

It's entirely my fault and I accept that.  I'm the idiot that knows that cilantro goes in to every single meal here.  I should have known better.Everything has cilantro. 


I picked at it, moved everything around the plate a few times, tried to pat cilantro off the shrimp with a napkin, dipped shrimp in to my water glass... 


Finally I just surrendered the meal to the flies that I had been desperately trying to fight off the entire time.  They wanted it more than I did.


I walked back to the B&B, a shadow of my former self...

Stopped in to a little store and got a bottle of liquid yogurt... another sad attempt to fill the void.


I knew I had a half bottle of red waiting back at the room for me, and that would have to be enough to tie me over until morning.... 


And zero cilantro in that bad boy!

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