Since Dave wasn´t due to arrive for a couple of days, I decided to head to the beach rather than cool my heals in Guayaquil. When he finally worked out his passport issues (after a day and a half of stress and anguish), Dave met me there.
Montanitas is a cool laid back beach town with a hippy/rasta vibe, known for its surfing and partying (just 4 hours from Guayaquil, it´s a popular weekend destination for locals). Dave commented that it felt like what Cancun must have been like 30-40 years ago, before it was overdeveloped. Montanitas is certainly developing quickly. Almost every hostel is building up, adding 1 or two new floors to accommodate an anticipated rush of business.
It was low season and rainy, so the town was far from packed. Nonetheless, we met some cool people--mostly by hanging out at a hostel called Juancho´s which has an awesome bar that serves fantastic $1 daquaris made strong with fresh fruit.
Here´s Jorge, the bartender:
Here´s some of the Juancho´s crowd. They guy in the back with dreads is an Israeli named Amichay. He is traveling throughout America taking naked pictures of himself and posting them on his site www.mynakedtrip.com. On our left is Elizabeth from Sweden, and Jules and Jess are an Australian couple.
And, here´s Peter, a crazy and fun Danish guy I hung out with the whole time. He found me my hostel (Centro del Mundo) and introduced me to the folks at Juancho´s. Here, he´s posing in front of the rare Danish birdlion. We spent an entire day (along with Elizabeth and Amichay) at this bar and Peter kept insisting the picture of the wave looked like a lion, whereas I think it´s clearly a bird.
And, to prove he arrived in one piece, here´s Dave hanging´at Juancho´s.
After drinking daquaris, we would all head out to the same bar each night to hear the same live band and dance in the sand (unfortunately no pictures of this). Dancing went on all night--I don´t think Peter went to sleep before sunrise any night I was there.
Overall, we had a great time in Montanitas despite the weather. We met cool people and would have stuck around for another few days had Dave not been on such a tight 12-day schedule. I would recommend checking this place out if you´re in Ecuador--but check the weather first. I think the whole experience would have been better with some SUN.