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November 30th 2014
Published: December 1st 2014
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Montanita - Day 7

This morning we bought our bus tickets to Montanita. Had to show a passport this time. Again a reasonable price, $5 each for a 3 hour ride. Only 5 others were on the bus at the Manta depot. About a half hour out of Manta, we passed through Montecristo. This is where the Panama hats were initially made. These hats and wooden carvings were for sale in stores all along the road. Shortly after a lady came on the bus with a big tray of baked goods. We bought a couple from her since we had missed breakfast. A while later we passed by a thirty foot corn cob statue. Not really sure of the significance!

Further along we pulled into the Jipijapa bus station. Love that name (hippihappa)! This time we bought a cup of fruit from a fellow with a tray on the bus. We slowly got our breakfast. Along the way we spotted a group of vultures on a garbage pile. Puerto Lopez was a very busy stop with a modern bus station. Outside Lopez the bus climbed high above the ocean level, then down again to almost jungle-like growth. Olen was the last town before Montanita.

We found Hostal Esperanto in Lonely Planet, and this is where we headed when we reached Montanita. A little tricky to find, as the three or four people we asked had never heard of it. They had vacancies for tonight and tomorrow, but we had hoped to stay three or four days. The room has a private bath, hot water, Internet, and is very clean.

We got situated in the hostal, then went to check out the area. Nice soft beach sand, lots of colorful umbrellas, many surf schools! The crowd here is fairly young, younger than us! Walked up from the beach to the main street, found a bakery and laundry. Had a late lunch at Casa Tua, an Italian restaurant. Good shrimp spaghetti and fettucine alfredo. It's amazing how convoluted the power cords are outside the buildings. They are strung in every direction. Must be no codes here. Lots of crafts for sale in town, but the most popular seems to be jewelry.

Walked the beach to find some accommodations for Tuesday and Wednesday. Found another hostal further up the beach, a more quiet area, closer to the beach, and cheaper than our current hostal. Later in the evening we ventured out again to get fruit and baked goods for breakfast (40 cents for fruit, 35 cents for pastries!!). Had a delicious snack of yogurt and strawberries. It's very pleasant in the evening here, a cool breeze. We walked by the central park. So many kids playing, and sounds of fireworks in the air.


1st December 2014

are we having fun?
I just got around to your blog. Sounds as if you are having fun. However, your age may be showing. A couple of good 3 to 6 hour5 hikes sounds good for younger tourists. Did you play some beach volley ball with the younger crowd?
1st December 2014

old people
We were at over 12000 feet and had to go up 1200 feet. It was climbing Mt Everest. Walk 100 feet and stop and try to catch your breath. They had horses at the bottom that you could rent to get back up that were led up indigenous kids. There were a lot people younger than us on the horses.

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