• Joanna

Right on the Fuckin Beach

Yesterday I left my little dirt hill haven in Puerto Lopez and began my day's journey to Canoa.  I have to admit, I struggled a little bit with the adventure ahead of me.  A lot, actually.


First, when you Google Map somethinglike' Puerto Lopez to Canoa 'it comes up;

  • Walking: 35 hours.

  • Driving: 3 hours and 9 minutes.

Like any normal person with a massive boulder of a backpack, I choose the driving option.


Now what Google Maps doesn't tell you is the 'Driving in the local bus' option... and that isNOT3 hours and 9 minutes.


Quite the opposite, in fact.


Although it's always the cheaper option, there are downsides to the bus.... 


1. I have NO idea what route they are going to take.  Most of the time, I just watch my Google Maps and pray...


2. Who knows if my luggage is still on the bus?  Maybe someone else pointed to it, thinking it was theirs... and Mr. Bus just threw it off.  How can we expect them to remember who's luggage is who's?


3. Sometimes we stop on the side of the road for 7 seconds and sometimes it's for 25 minutes. It's a bus ride mystery... Which means that your 3 hours and 9 minute journey becomes 10 hours... give or take...


4. There is zero leg room and even less if the jerk in front of you reclines his seat in a quick, no warning, jolted motion that smashes directly in to your knee and makes it pretty much impossible to uncross your legs and go on living & walking like a regular person.

I'm not even going to get into the weirdos that have to sit right beside you (regardless of whether the bus is empty), the smells you encounter or the colourful B Grade movies that they play, dubbed over in Spanish.

But I should NOT really complain because as onerous as it was, the journey was actually quite quick and simple...


Hear me out...

This is the series of events I endured from the moment I prepared to  leave the B&B to when I got in Canoa...

  • Leaving the B&B - the owner called the taxi for me.

  • The taxi showed up immediately.

  • I got a ride straight to the bus station for only $1.

  • I bought a ticket to Manta for $3.25.

  • The bus was actually right there waiting for me.

  • I boarded the bus and we left the station within10 minutes.

  • I got off the bus in Manta, walked inside the station & bought a ticket to Canoa for $4.50.

  • The bus was right there waiting for me.

  • I boarded and we left 1 minute later.

  • A stranger boarded the bus in Bahia and all I could think was "You look like someone Zack and Chris might know." 

  • I kept a watchful eye on this stranger...

  • When he stood up to get off, I moved in immediately, "Where are you going???"

  • He said "The Coconut," I replied "Zack's place?"

  • He nodded and that was my cue to follow.

  • Arrival: Coconut Hotel.

Mic drop...

I made it, with zero issues... 6 hours later... in one piece... and they didn't throw my luggage out on the road in some random location.


Their place is, as advertised, right on the fuckin beach.  No disputing that at all!   Palm trees lining the path down to the beach, spectacular views, an endless horizon... and it just gives off such a casual, relaxing vibe.  Roof top terrace, bright flowers, free bananas, hammocks, communal kitchen, local dogs lazing around, cold beer... I loved it... and I have to admit, I'm quite impressed!

Everyone was incredibly wonderful, generous and welcoming - in fact, I felt at home right away.  Zack upgraded me to a private room with a private bathroom, looking right out on to the beach and the palm tree path leading there.  I had my own private hammock right outside my door... not that I think I've ever been in a hammock... Just seems too dangerous to be playing pig in a blanket when I'm prone to falls and cuts and broken things. 


After sorting out myself, my room and my things, I decided to wander in to Canoa - which is about 20-25 minutes trek away.  It had been raining, so the streets were quite muddy, but on I trekked like a trekking trooper.  It was wine that I was after, so mud alone was not enough to deter me!


Ok... those who know me, know that I rarelycomplain... lol... BUT honestly... a bottle of Gato Negro red in Canoa... $12US.  That's about $16 Canadian for a bottle that they probably bought for $1 and is maybe worth $3, if you throw in a bit of cheese.

Captive market, stuck between a rock and a hard place... and no amount of huffing & puffing was going to get me a cheaper bottle.  So I had to buy.  


Two of them...


I was very disappointed that I'd missed Chris and Max by only a few days... but it was good to see Zack again.  


Had a great night playing cards, chatting with everyone - my 'dry' three weeks came to an abrupt end when the Gate Negro started flowing.... 


... and I definitely paid for it the next day...


Thank God I had to suffer my hangover in paradise...

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