Published: July 12th 2008July 3rd 2008
After Colombia we decided we needed a little rest and relaxation in the form of sun, sea and surf. Well, sun and sea for me and watching the others surf. Spent a couple of days at Las Peñas (absolutely impossible to get to - I understand fully why it isn't even mentioned in the Lonely Planet). Absolutely beautiful and amazing seafood (add to that I was the only non-Ecuadorian there) and it was very relaxing. Next we headed to Tonsupa (quieter, smaller version of Atacames a ten minute motortaxi ride away) in search of a hotel and a cocktail after the long journey. Spent a day just hanging out on the beach touring the line of grass-roofed huts serving as cocktail bars and topping up my tan on the beach interspersed with frequent food and drink breaks. Great thing about being on the coast is that the fish is ridiculously fresh. In Las Peñas we were sitting in a restaurant having breakfast when a fisherman just walked in holding a couple of huge fish asking if the owners needed any for the day - can't get fresher than that!
Day two of our beach stay at Tonsupa was spent building
an absolutely fabulous sandcastle of which I was very proud. Unfortunately the sea disagreed with me and decided to destroy all our hard work in under ten minutes despite the huge defensive wall. Very upsetting although three cuba libres later I was somewhat molified. Off to Atacames in a motortaxi that evening to watch the second final between Liga and some Brazilian team I never caught the name of because we're supposed to hate them and not call them by anything other than hijos de putas
(one game played in Brazil, one in Ecuador - the first we watched in Colombia) Liga won which meant the town went absolutely crazy and it was impossible to leave until very late due to the roads being filled with over excited football fans (truly no-one loves football as much as South Americans!) Brilliant bars though that had swings instead of bar stools. Very considerate way of the owners making sure none of the customers get too drunk I guess!
Day three of being lazy beach potatoes we decided to do something a little more active and decided togo whale-watching (sitting in a boat of course being much more active than sitting on
the beach!) We were loaded onto the boat (the only ones) and told the other people who wanted to come were just getting money out and would be there in a minute. An hour later we told them it was ridiculous and got into the boat of another tour instead. I naturally managed to choose the spot that would get me absolutely soaked in five seconds flat. After and hour of being bounced up and down in the back of a motorboat I looked like a drowned rat (photo evidence provided below!) We were off to see a pod of (I think) humpbacked whales. I can't really say that 'humpbacked' is part of my Spanish vocab! We did manage to drive straight into a mini pod of four butgetting decent photos was near impossible (Ihave new found respect for everyone who has good photos of whales!) I managed to miss it everytime one of them stuck their tail out of the water but at least I saw them. No jumping unfortunately - they obviously weren't feeling up to entertaining the tourists. Returned to shore very wet and equally happy and decided to have another cocktail to balance out the fact
we were soaked in salty water from head to toe.
There are more photos below