Now I think I can count as a local.
After dinner we enjoyed some beach time in the spirit of REM. I hadn´t been night swimming for quite some time and forgot how difficult it is to see the swell until you have a mouth full of water and you´re upside down. The killer part of it all was the presence of happy little bugs, or angry – I couldn´t tell. On my way out to the water I found a cool little glowing bug. I put it on my finger and watched it crawl all around all the while blinking away. Then once we got into the water it was like we were robots. In fact, I may still be of the belief that I´m a robot while under water. The little phosphorescence attached and glowed on your skin as you moved, it was quite the site. It´s amazing what characteristics animals develop, or are given to them by the almighty creator.. which ever way you think it should be.In earlier news I woke up after having some pretty odd and vivid dreams, quite unpleasant. I think it might be the drugs. I don´t know for sure, so I´m going to give them another week or until I wake up sweating. After I woke up this morning, we went to go take care of business with the balsa board and alas were hit with yet another road block on the journey to getting a board. I should let Jon tell the story from here.
Hi kids. So I was all set to buy this board. 9´2¨, tri-fin (fcs and a 10-inch box), and balsa. BALSA! BALSA!!! I spent like three hours trying to hammer out the deal (en español mind you), and we had it all worked out.
But first let me tell you about this one time I went to Las Vegas right before I flew to Ecuador, and when I was in Vegas I spent $800, but didn´t realize it because the casinos got me so drunk that I start telling proverbs.
So today I went to the ATM to get the money so that I could pay this man and he could start shaping up my awesome balsa surfboard. But the silly ATM was holding out on me. ¨Your transaction has been declined. Please contact your financial institution for more information.¨ At least I think that´s what it said. Silly Spanish.
So I had my new friend The ATM print me up an account statement because in my previous job as a detective I learned to never leave a stone unturned. Sure enough, I found the problem. Zero dollars. Crazy huh? I thought so too. So that´s when I went to the internet cafe, logged onto my bank, and found the next piece of evidence: a string of ATM withdrawals and one debit purchase of [DOLLAR AMOUNT UNDISCLOSED] at [NAME OF STRIP JOINT UNDISCLOSED].
So, long story long, I don´t have a balsa board after all. :(
Anyway, so we spent the remainder of the day thinking about what was to be done about the balsa boards and our stay here in Montañita, thus far it´s been quite inconclusive.. but maybe we´ll go to Guayaquil tomorrow.. maybe.
After our deliberation for the day we got into the water, did some body surfing and then ventured over to where our Californian friends were staying and as it happened there was a soccer game going on just out side so I decided to strengthen foreign relations and sub myself in. It was a simple game, 3 one 3 however once I was in it quickly dissolved into 5 on 1. I held my own. I didn´t necessarly win, but I was definatly a winner and respected myself after a game full of maraculous saves, shots, jukes, and it´s very own share of injuries including but not limited to a skinned knee and rocks in the foot. After the game Jon took a photo of the team all together, including me, and it wasn´t until they hailed to me ¨Hasta Mañana!¨ and I commented to Jon what a tough bunch of folks they were that he informed me that they were all 5, 6, 7 and 8 year olds. I still think I´m cool.
Well, after soccer we ate with the ladies, and after we ate we drew pictures, and after we drew pictures we went down to the beach and that brings me to the top of the screen. Thus ends the day.
Arrived here in Ecuador and traversed customs just fine, though our bags where behind us by a few hours, at 6:00 AM on Wednesday. We spent the morning at the local University playing frisbee on their basketball court and talking to students who showed us a good place to get some breakfast. They´ve got some killer fruit here. We then jumped in a cab back to the airport and thankfully had no problem getting our gear. There it was nice and tidy in the American Air baggage cage. Hooray! Once we were set to leave the city, we did. Taking a taxi to the bus station a very friendly kid showed us the proper bus to get on, and promptly took our money in exchange for a ticket and a tip. We got front row seats on the bus that cruized through the hills to the coast, stopping every so often to pick up and drop off – standard bus fare. At one city the bus driver looked at us and started giving us the ¨this is your transfer routine,¨ I think normally I´d have more caution in such an exchange, but they seemed so admit about the whole thing that it was hard not to trust them. They graciously pulled our bags out of the bottom storage and sent us on our way, toward the other bus. This bus crew quickly hiked up the ladder on the side of the bus and pitched both our bags onto the roof with one hand … strong dude, I think my bag is at least 60 pounds. This bus ride was much more cavalier. Fare was collect by an 8 year old and then given to the old woman right next to me who was the curator of the operation. As for roads, they have them, but it´s like driving in Costa Mesa where repair is few and far between. Knowing this, the drivers take the liberty of avoiding every pot hole possible putting us on both left and right shoulders, making it easy to get to know your neighbor. We finally got to Montiañita where, with our bags, we were quite obvious about our arrival. We picked a spot to stay (The Happy Donkey), got our keys, paid our $3.50 and dropped our gear to scope out the rest of the ´town.´
I´m not really sure how describe this town. It´s small and it´s touristy for other Ecuadorians. After being here for a number of days I´ve learned that this is the beach city for the locals. The city´s extent is a road, that I´ve dubbed Una Via after the only existent street sign, full of mixed use residential. Bars and shops under hostels and habaticiones, essentially rooms for rent. Outside of Una Via there are a few tiendas, but nothing more than some small homes and the main road. Our hotel was at one end of Una VIa and had a view of the bread shop across the way, it wasn´t so bad for living in Ecuador, but….We met some Canadian ladies who moved into our stay the second night and collectively agreed that we could find better living else where, so now we´re neighbors at a much nicer place down the road.
Today was the third day of surf for us. The first day I was surfing a 6´10´´ and preformed fairly well for not knowing the break, the following day the surfing I did was split between a 9´4´´ (the one I was able to walk the nose on) and a 6´8´´ which I had some rides with. The break here is just like San Clemente, beach breaks with short rides, left or right, and fairly inconsistent save the point. The point is where competitions are held and where all the skilled surfers end up. Not being the best short boarder in Montañita, I´ve yet to experience the point surf, though it looks much better than what I´ve been on so far. Further, I´m officially an international ´Surf Instructor.¨ The Canadians are finishing their 3 month stint in Ecuador here in Montañita and wanted to learn to surf. Of course it´s in their best interest to save the $12 for lessons and enjoy their time in the water with some nice American fellas, so yesterday for our services they paid the rental fees. Thus my first bit of work down here.
We´re not sure how long we´re going to stay at this beach resort. We put down $100 for 10 nights at this new place where we´ll both get our own room, bathroom, and hammock. – I think after a while we may be too burnt and too lazy to stay any longer. Though, before we leave Jon´s thinking he wants to buy a balsa board (about $500 for a 9´) I´m thinking I´ll just learn how to make balsa boards and come back to the States and sell those puppies. ¿eh? (you like that double question mark¿? that´s using a fancy Latin keyboard for you.)
I got sick for about a day thus far, not good odds I know, but I´m feeling better now and am going to pay closer attention to what kind of things go into my system. The Canadians said they´ve had their stints of sickness and gave me some pointers on places to go-things to get if it doesn´t settle it´s self out.
Otherwise I´m lying in a hammock and surfing in 73 degree water, it´s tough to beat. Until next time I´m safe and content.