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Published: June 16th 2017
Geo: -0.866667, -80.2667
We love Montanita! The surf's the draw, but it's the surfers and all the girls who make it fun. At about 4 or 5 in the afternoon it starts to wake up and stays awake til well after dawn. That's why we're staying a block out of town at the lovely Hotel Swiss Point--it's just far enough that we don't hear the partying.
And the great restaurants! There's Hola Ola with a zipping fast internet connection, Papallon where we go most often, Tiki Limbo right next door and our newest discovery the Kapatapia, a Mediterranean Grill where I could finally get my vegetable fix. And all the street food anyone could want.
On Sunday we had a string of 12 buses lined up on the highway. What the?? The poor barrios of Guayaquil had been dumped on Montanita. They swarm the beach in a once a summer bonus from the government--a one day vacation for people who could never otherwise afford such luxury.
They leave the beach strewn with beer bottles and deep in trash. The town runs out of water, there are no portable toilets set up so they "go" anywhere, leaving the city in a huge mess. What
starts out as a wonderful idea--give the poor a day on the beach--turns out to be a nightmare for the unprepared towns they visit. There's no support from the government to go along with this handout--it's a good thing it only comes once a summer.
But Monday morning the city starts it's cleanup and by noon everything's back to Montanita pretty. Yesterday being Valentine's day, I needed my chocolate, so about 9:00pm we walked into town to share a brownie topped with 2 scoops of ice cream slathered in chocolate sauce.
Happy Valentine's Day to us.
At night, Montanita is even more vibrant! Besides the throngs filling all the restaurants, there's one long string of kiosk bars--probably 20 of them in one block-- each with 20 bottles of liquor, a bunch of fruit and a table and chairs--one after another. But 9:00 is early and they're just getting started.
Although there are some gringos here, the bulk of the partying young are from Argentina and Chile. There's an energy here you don't find in other coastal villages and it's pretty fun, even when you just wander and watch.
But if you want to get away from crowds, pay the big bucks (25cents) and go
to Olon. Only 3 km north and a world away.
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