Detox time – Ayampe and up the coast to Canoa

After 14 days in Montañita it was time to get out and away. While staying in Montañita I did some day trips to other small towns nearby. One of them is called Ayampe, and it is located 40 minutes north of Montañita by bus. A real rough diamond of a beach town located on the northside of a headland with a beautiful beach which has punchy waves, a very unspoiled local community and no party at all making it a good place to relax. After 7 days straight of party I needed to detox, practice my newly acquired spanish skills and get some surfing in.

I choose to stay in a cheap hostel right on the beach and every night I would fall asleep to the breaking waves and every morning my first sight would be the pacific ocean. I spend my days reading, exploring Ayampe and its surroundings and  surf a couple of times a day. Some mornings I would get up before the break of light to wait for the first bus (which would often pass right by me making me wait another 30 mins for the next one), getting me eaten by mosquitoes and sandflies, for it to take me to a regional classic left point called Rio Chico. One morning it was flat, but the next morning it was pumping!

Some days would have electricity and internet, while other days would be a black out.

After 5 days I felt like it was time to explore the coast further up north. I had been told I would be able to find the Ecuatorian Pipeline in a small town called San Lorenzo. I took the bus for 2 hours north only to find a ghost town with no budget accommodation and blown out small waves. I was told by a local that it was out of season and I took the first collectivo (pickup truck with a covered bed for passengers) to the closets bigger town called Manta to find a cheap place to stay. Walking around Manta I met two guys from England which I had already met in Montañita and we found a decent place to stay together. Thereafter we went out to get a few beers and see what Manta would have to offer on a Monday night. We did pretty well and the next day we were more or less famous in Manta. The english boys decided leave for another beachtown up the coast called Canoa, while I decided to stay another night to get up early the next morning and give the Ecuatorian Pipeline i San Lorenzo another chance. I got up and took the bus with my surfboard at 6am, the weather wasn´t good and as I arrived in San Lorenzo I saw only small and blown out waves like two days before. Dissapointed, I went back to Manta, got me a 2 dollar shave in a barbershop a solid breakfast, packed my bags and headed up the coast to Canoa to meet up with my friend Jimmy and others from Montañita.

After a 6 hour busride (which was the direct bus that took a long way around) I arrived in Canoa to find out what this place was all about. This place was somewhere in between Montañita and Ayampe and I had a couple of chilled days with the guys, before we decided to head back to Montañita for one more round.


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