The promise of high altitude mountain camping got us through the heat and humidity of Central America. The crisp air and nightly campfires we’d finally found in Ecuador were just what we’d been dreaming of for months.
However, back in Colombia I’d decided to give kiteboarding a try. I’d contacted Ecuador Kite Surf on the coast, inquiring about lessons. The owner Javier was incredibly enthusiastic about teaching me, but warned us the wind season in Santa Marianita was coming to an end. As a result, we mustered up the strength to pull ourselves out of the mountains and drive the two days back to sea level.
Aside from crossing the equator a few times and an impromptu personal fruit-farm tour our drive South was pretty uneventful. We spent nearly three weeks camped on the beach. It was nice to fall into a regular routine, making friends, playing in the waves, learning a new sport, and eating breakfast at the friendly Donkey Den Guesthouse. Their "Scramble”, bottomless cups of coffee, and an abundance of happy cats, dogs, and backpackers kept us coming back each morning.
We did drag ourselves away for a few days to do some diving and earn our Advanced Open Water Diver certificate, building on the SCUBA skills we’d learned earlier in Colombia. We’d had a plan to go out to the Isla de la Plata to see the famous blue footed boobies, but abandoned it in favor of getting back to Santa Marianita a day earlier.
Pulling back into our place on the beach after our diving adventure gave us the feeling of coming home and pulling away for the last time left us both feeling melancholy to leave a place we’d become so comfortable in.
We’re spending a little more time on the coast with our friends Nick and Megan of The Long Cruise, but Taylor promises me we’ll head back for the mountains soon.
This is a super short blog post, so I made a crossword puzzle for you based on Ecuador and our experiences over the last few weeks because its my blog and I can do that.