Felize Anos!

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January 1st 2007
Published: January 24th 2007
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So my trip to the Coast began around five in the morning, not that I was aware of the fact being extremley drunk and pretty much falling into the car and going into a deep coma sleep.
Pablo who runs the Apu Inty Spanish school I currently study at was the designated driver with his girlfriend Sheir from America playing Shotgun with me in the back.
The first half of the journey was a semi conscious awareness that the air pressure was changing along with an increase in temperature as we drove down towards the coast.
Consciencess came in the form of a jolt and the knowledge that three of four tyres had just been burst hitting a crater in the road, something that VW car is less than capable of contending with.
Luckily the repair shop was five minutes up the road and before we knew we were slowly on our way to Puerto Lopez.
We happened to stop for lunch in a town known for it locals having an abusive Cowboy type attitude towards foreigners what ever that meant. The place just happened to be a dusty hole in the middle of nowhere which people only grace by passing through as quickly as possible without trying to make the locals seem inferior by stepping out their car.

Puerto Lopez
Is yet another dusty type town with only a few tarmacked roads but having the benefit of good sea food and a wided stretching coastal front lined with Palm trees.
We arrived pretty much in the evening and walked along the front having something to eat and then going to a Bar which seems to attract all the attention of foreigners and locals alike.
Here I met Pablo´s friend Danny a professional Salsa dancer who recently won an International competition in Austria and proceeded to take Sheir for a spin on the dance floor.
Well it was like throwing a Brownie into a weightwatchers convention, suddenly everyone was scrambling to the dance floor, young, old, big, small, local, foreign clambering for space to throw out there moves while I was left nursing my Beer pondering on the fact that everyone seems to instinctively know Salsa and Spanish when they arrive here.
In fact I seem to be one of the only British, one of the only people who is not volunteering and one of the only people who have not studied Spanish before coming but its all good I´m keeping the British end up.
The night was finished of with some Rum back at the Hostel and I settled in for a comfortable nights sleep.

has a completely different vibe to Puerto Lopez or probably anywhere else in Ecuador and reminded me a lot of Goa with its laidback atmosphere of chilled out Bars and restaraunts with dreadlocked, tattooed and hippy attired people making there way down the main street of Bars that are made from a mixture of woods and palm fronds which gives the place a beautiful tribal village appeal with the beach front only a stones throw away.
The other thing that stands out here is the Surfer culture which always brings an element of slight insanity to a place and the locals partake in it as much as they can with the Gringo´s coming here to learn to Surf at less than affordable prices.
The night before New Years actually turned out to be better as we met up with Pablo´s friend Pablo and his Canadian girlfriend Rachel so we all headed out and took in the Bars with there cheap prices and
New Years Eve!!New Years Eve!!New Years Eve!!

Okayyy Pablo, Sheir, Pablo, Rachel, Andrea, Danny, Henrique and random bloke?
ended up at a place where a local live band played various local and Western songs it had a great atmosphere and everyone seemed happy to be there for New Years.
The start of New Years was.............. a sober affair to begin with, I had the feeling, like me everyone had had an excellent time the night before and was bit worst for wear for the main event.
Still the local loopy juice is an excellent remedy to that sort of problem and was relaxing into a nice cruise control of two for ones when the local surfer crowd along with all the locals began their yearly ritual.
This involves burning an effigy of yourself in order to destroy your former self and then continue into the New Year with your new and improved persona forgetting the past and moving on anew which is a very good way to see in the New Year, it also is required that you leap over your burning self in a sort of mockery. The surfers do what they do and paddle out into the surf and give thanks or something, I wasnt really in the mood or capable to swim out and find out.
So the usual drink, dance songs by the campfire a very tropical sort of New Year which was excellent with the lack of freezing weather you can really celebrate New Year in style............on the beach.

Additional photos below
Photos: 30, Displayed: 25


On the way to MontanitaOn the way to Montanita
On the way to Montanita

Pablo, Sheir and me stopped off at a Church on route as it had great views of the bay
Getting TwistedGetting Twisted
Getting Twisted

Me, Sheir, Pablo,? and Danny living it up the day before New Years eve!
New Years Eve!!New Years Eve!!
New Years Eve!!

Let the madness begin
New Years Eve!!New Years Eve!!
New Years Eve!!

I had no choice they forced it down me officer!

2nd February 2007

not envious of your healthy glow then
hey ollie, just had some time to check out your blog for updates...good to see your having a wicked time and immersing yourself into the spanish ways . look forward to the next installment and enjoying my february pasty hue even more after seeing your sun drenched exterior! take it easy . . dionne x
5th January 2008

I was there!!!
Wow! I just got home (california) from my trip to Montanita and stumbled on your blog. I was there on the beach taking photos of the new years eve surfer festivities as well. Your photos are much better than mine :) What a place to be to kick off 2008. I'll be recovering for at least a week. Ronny

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