• Joanna

Puerto Pissy Pants

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

I was Miss Pissy Pants yesterday.  NOT all day… but most of the day.  Please remember how hungry I was… it wasn’t a conscious diet-effort hungry, it was an actual ‘get me food that isn’t rice NOW’ kind of starving & craving…

I got up early in Ayangue, got all of my things together and got ready to leave the B&B.  Big Hugs was actually incredible to me- gave me a bottle of water and a map of the coast of Ecuador… AND a big hug, funny that … Then, of course, she asked me to go on Trip Advisor and write a nice review.

I have considered writing "Foreigners take note!  I almost messed everything up for all of you! Big Hugs"... but I will say something more congenial and appreciate...


Big Hugs called me a taxi when I was all ready to go and it showed up almost immediately.  Everything was planned that Mr. Taxi was going to just drive me straight up to the highway and I was given explicit instructions not to move... to just sit there and wait on the side of the road… until a big green bus showed up. This seemed quite daunting because... honestly, what if a big green bus never showed up?  Would I eventually just die from heat exhaustion on the side of the road?


They assured me that a big green bus would appear…so I took their word for it and headed out… ever hopeful.

You know, if my thighs weren’t so fat and my ankles weren’t so thick, I probably wouldn’t even have to worry about the big stupid green bus showing up, I could show a little leg and get a ride for free!  But given my current state of affairs, I’m not sure exactly what I’d get by showing my legs, but odd are that it wouldn’t be a free ride to Puerto Lopez.


The taxi pulled over to let me out and I just couldn’t help but keep thinking, “This is the moment of truth.”  This is the exact moment that I actually paid a taxi cab to drive me to the highway and leave me there.


But… WOW!  Luck be a lady tonight!


The big green bus came wailing around the corner.  It was a sequence of dream-like events... Mr. Taxi waved it down, the big green bus stopped, Mr. Bus jumped out, grabbed my bag, tossed it in the storage compartment, I jumped on the bus and away we all went! … Easy peasy monkey squeezy. The bus ride was about an hour an a half.  People got on. People got off.  It was a very pious big green bus, with a giant vinyl replica of Baby Jesus at the front, keeping a watchful eye on all of us for the entire ride and ensuring that we were all safe from harm... and sin. We wound our way along the coast, through all the little beach towns, wove in and out of the forest, up and down the hills... and at one point, I think we must have gone past a dumping ground for bodies that couldn't afford proper burials... the smell was intense.


I actually thought I missed my stop because I was so enthralled in a game of Tetris on my phone... but thanks to Baby Jesus, I was ok.

Once off in Puerto Lopez, I saw the most neat-o thing.  Motorized rickshaws... everywhere, scooting up and down the road.  Jumped in one immediately, pack in hand, pointed forward and yelled “Bella Italia! Vamos!”

Bella Italia was a restaurant that I'd read about on line.  It had fantastic reviews for its Italian style food (not a rice or banana in site!) and damned if I wasn't going to partake... right away.


Remember how hangkry I had been?… Well, the thought of Puerto Lopez was the only thing that kept me alive… because I knew that as soon as I got there, I was going to EAT (*not rice, bananas, queso, eggs, chicken, fish or bananas)...


Like commanded, in good form, Mr. Rickshaw took me straight to Bella Italia, which, I might add, is nothing more than a house on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, with a sign that read "Bella Italia."

Closed.


I felt like a Griswold at Wally World.  Disappointment engulfed me.  To add insult to injury, a creepy little man peeked through the curtain and yelled 'Cerrado!"


Mr. Rickshaw still wanted to leave me there... but there was zero chance that I was exiting my only means of transportation, in the middle of nowhere.  


Please take me to food that isn’t rice…

Please… I might only have a few hours to live....

He tried to take me a few places. All closed.  Finally I gave him his $2 and got out on the main Puerto Lopez promenade.  There seemed to be a restaurant every 2 feet, so I was fairly confident that I'd find something.  The one place I finally decided to drag my pack in to ended up having exactly the same menu as every where else, but in their defence, they had wine and wifi... so I sat down for a well deserved break.  I could only stay for a couple though, as it wasn't long before the Spanish version of "Call me Maybe" came on, and that was my cue to depart...


My quest for food came up fruitless... literally, I couldn't even find fruit. Nothing… ZERO.  Many signs lead me in each & every direction, with promises of pizza & hamburgers & lasagna… but almost all of them closed… or non existent... or too far to walk with my 300 pound friend. Then I started to get pissed off.  As it was now past 1pm, I jumped back in a taxi to head up to my B&B.  The least I could do was dump my pack.

Online, Maremonti B&B was a picturesque, quaint little bed & breakfast with amazing views of the town and the beach... and that is exactly what it ended up being... BUT WAY up the mountain (hill) and in the most remote part of town. The lady who ran the B&B was lovely, but she must have hated me up a storm... When I arrived, I was feeling shitty about the location and how I would get in and out of town.  Then she showed me to my room, which had 3 double beds... setting me off in to thoughts that I was expected to share!  *I was assured that they room was only for me.  Then she expressed concern that I was traveling alone, which I misinterpreted as an issue, due to my emotional state of mind.  I was just depleted. None of the rooms had been cleaned yet... the toilet in my room was broken (seems to be a theme here).  There was another room directly next door, with only 1 bed, and I asked if I could have that one. It was smaller… and more suited to me traveling alone.

I left to give everyone a break from me and make the big 20 minute trek back in to town... but every recommendation that people gave me for a restaurant was closed until 6pm.


I stopped at a local bakery on the road and just pointed at something that didn’t look too sickly sweet.  I think I heard the words 'pan' and 'miel' - by taste, I can only assume that it was some kind of honey bun.  At one point, I did have to laugh… I envisioned me collapsing in the dirt, over exhausted from this search.  The authorities would find me with a half chewed piece of honeybun hanging out of my mouth. It was then that I decided that eating fries would tie me over and be fine until all of the worlds pizzerias finally opened.  It was right there, on this particular menu, that I saw Lasagna!!!  I had a choice of chicken or beef.

"OMG - give me chicken lasagna! PRONTO!"

No mushrooms. No cilantro.  I was set.  Then the waiting game began.  I waited and I waited and I waited… and when it finally arrived, I realized WHY it took so long.  They cooked each individual piece to order!  And the reason I knew this, was because the noodles were undercooked... almost to the point of inedible…  It was awful. On my plate, I had 1 & 1/2 pieces of toast… so I proceeded to make a melted cheese & chicken toastie and shoved the noodle pieces to the side of the plate.  As nauseating as it was, my hunger was distinguished for the time being and I could now try to continue with me day trying not to be negative & mean. And then I saw the most beautiful skirt in the world!  I was lured, absolutely spellbound in the thoughts that it would look amazing on me once I lose 40 pounds... and plus, I have loads of room in my backpack! $8... paid... love it... put it in my bag... left the store and kept walking, thinking that luck was changing in my favour- and perhaps I just needed a little bit of retail therapy to get me over the hump of the day. It was then that I realized my phone was missing.  PANIC.

I retraced my exact steps back to the store in which I had purchased the skirt.  Nope... they hadn't seen it.    I think it was a grandpa and his granddaughter.  They were so nice and tried helping by attempting to call my phone... that was on silence, with no roaming fees... ugh.  Doomed.  And then there it was, shoved in between the product and the glass in the retail display.  Obviously, I had been so taken with the skirt, that I had put my phone down, and it had fallen through the broken glass and right in to the display. Baby Jesus was with me on the bus, and he was still with me in Puerto Lopez. Holy shit.

After this, I was really hating Puerto Lopez so I decided it might be a good idea to return to my B&B - relax, have a lovely swim, enjoy the view, read a bit... I wasn't hangkry anymore and I had my phone in the tight grips of my hot little hands.

Then a little later… I headed backin to town.  God suddenly it feels like the only reason I go to town is to eat.  Well, haters, I also had to get wine...


I walked directly to the first place I saw. There were 3 options.

  • 1 slice - $1

  • Medium Pizza - $8

  • Large Pizza - $10

Obviously I wanted the medium, right?  Seemed reasonable.


"Do you have wifi?".... No. *First red flag.

"Do you have wine?".... No.  *uh-oh...


Why I didn’t leave right then and there… ???

So I sat on a child size seat, drinking my aqua sin gas, waiting for my pizza and then I happened to turn around. 


It’s HUGE.


The thing is more than 16”!  NO!!!!!


No no no.

I kept saying to the girl, it’s just me!!! No. TOO big.  Honestly, it wasn't her fault, but wow, now I was getting frustrated... because what was I supposed to do with this enormous pizza?  It was ridiculous.  I just sat there… waiting, growing more and more irritated with each second that passed.... and then, finally it came out of the oven.   

Then she proceeded to pull out a pizza box that would make pizza boxes at the Sasquatch Pub look like lego.  Colossal.  I could NOT walk around with this.. it was like an "I just picked up Christmas dinner for the family type of pizza box!"


"Please have something smaller?" Nope.


Good news... the girl offered to put the pizza on a plate.


Bad news... the plate was a 5 inch styrofoam plate.   She started taking the pizza, piece by piece and FOLDING them so that it would fit on top of each other, on the ONE small plate. All the toppings were sliding off.. the plate was filling with cheese grease and tomato sauce.  It just put me over the edge.  I pulled out $10, said 'no' one more time, paid for it, apologized for the inconvenience and walked away. Everyone has a breaking point, and mine was a 16" pizza, folded up piece by piece and being towered on to a 5" styrofoam plate.

You know those moments when you just have to walk away... without pizza.  That was my moment.

Signs (and Baby Jesus) led me back to Bella Italia.  Despite it's questionable location, it ended up being the most beautiful little Italian garden restaurant I have ever encountered.  Especially in Ecuador!  I ate a Caprese Salad, some garlic ciabatta, and it was exactly what I needed.  

Made my way back to the B&B, and sat for a couple hours and drank by the pool with my new friend, the lady who ran the hotel.  I don't think she hated me anymore.  We talked about life, love, travel... and polished off a bottle of red together! AND... when I went back to my room that night, there were a couple cockroaches in the bathroom. I just thought, "Nice to see you again, old friends.  It's been a few years." I like Puerto Lopez. Life is good again :-)

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