Beach Bars & Breweries

The beaches of Ecuador have been some of our favorites since Baja. We found ourselves spending more than three weeks at sea level when usually spending just a couple days is enough to make us miss the higher elevations. Before we get into what happened after leaving the beach there’s two more stories I have to share about our time in Canoa with Megan and Nick of The Long Cruise.

Our first day we all wandered down from our camp to the beach, and more importantly to the beach bar, for a round of Piña Coladas. The owner of the bar sort of adopted us and decided that the next day we should return for a cook out of lobster and shrimp. What we got the next day did not disappoint! We all participated in a workout before to make room for what we were sure would be a feast, and  brought the bottle of celebratory champagne we had been saving for our reunion. With a huge bowl of langostinas (lobsters), camarones (shrimp), and giant prawns between us, and a side of arroz and patacones for each of us, we dug in. It was one of those surreal moments where you look around at what you’re doing and the place you’re doing it in, and think “is this real life?”

Fast forward to our last day together which turned out to be a rainy blustery day with no waves for Megan and Nick, so we decided to make a small pilgrimage in the Land Cruiser out to a fabled brewery in the jungle. We knew that it existed, but knew nothing about what we were going to find when we got there. A half hour’s muddy drive into the jungle took us through small villages, banana farms, across the local soccer field (yes I did mean across) and just when we thought there is no way there is a legit brewery out here, we turned the corner and there it was: Beerkingo Cervezeria. Though the name left something to be desired, the beer did not! When we got out of the car, the owner welcomed us graciously into the brewery showing us the whole process and handing out free samples before we even finished the tour. After four rounds of what turned out to be some of the best beer we’d had since leaving the states, we were sold on this place! I think I even saw a single tear roll down KP’s face at one point as he savored his IPA.

When we got back to our camp, Megan and Nick used their beer fuel to hit the waves while KP and I manned the beach to watch, then we all went out for another round at the local “surf shak” for a pizza and to participate in trivia night. Luckily this was a gringo place, so the questions were all in English, and we managed to tie for third place despite our current level of inebriation. We ended the night with several rounds of the card game Asshole and of course several more rounds of drinks, and in the morning we remembered why the four of us can only meet every few weeks and not travel together full time.

We left the next morning heading in opposite directions, us north back to the mountains, Megan and Nick south to keep chasing waves, but with the plan to see each other again in Cuenca in a few weeks… once our livers have all had a chance to heal!