I stayed the whole week in Olon and took some holidays from all the travelling. I didn´t do anything from the things I planned to do here but as it was out of range of making things possible (so far I cannot influence the weather – I can only do my best that the weather isn´t influencing on me).
Surfing Ecuador (or not)
I always read about the great surf on the pacific coast of South America so I imagined myself finally improving taking green waves and spending the rest of the day sun-bathing. Well, anyone trying to do this on this period of the year – good luck. Waves weren´t that great at all and I hadn´t had one sunny day. The days were all grey (sometimes this lack of color almost felt depressing, the sky was greige, the sea and the sand as well) and cloudy and I was lucky if it didn´t rain.
The water was also cold and as they don´t seem to use wetsuits here (or at least I didn´t see one using them – but then – I haven´t seen much surfers after all). There was only one day I saw a surf school going into the water when I noticed the following: even if the weather and waves would have been better, I woudn´t have been able to do it! I wasn´t thinking of this fact at all and when it hit me I almost cryed… Just were you put the leash, at exact the same spot above the ankle, I had all my injuries from the ants bites. It wasn´t too swollen anymore but the flesh was still not healed at all. It´s getting better every day but really slowly. Now that I might actually try to surf, I will have to leave. It´s my last night here and tomorrow I will leave beach life.
So please, this is supposed to be a great spot – but not at this time (October). High seasson will start November/December.
Still there was plenty to do around here. Most days – as I said I was on holidays and needed a break of all the sightseeing – I spend doing yoga in the morning, had some delicious fruit for breakfast, then went for a walk on the beach, got some lunch, then another walk on the beach and back home did some reading and another session of yoga and went to bed early. It could be like this for ever but at some point (and as the sun wouldn´t come out as I was hoping) I decided to explore the area.
First stop is the tourist town called Montañita. It has plenty of hostals, even more restaurants and bars and tourist shops. I defenitely prefered staying in Olon, but depending on what you are looking for, this could be your choice. From here it was a nice hour walk. Just turn left on the beach till the rocks and search for a little path shortly before the end of the beach which will bring you up to the street and from there you are already half-way there.
Some kilometers after town (the bus can drop you of there, just say you need to take the collectvo to Dos Mangas) you can get a car (collectivo, 50 cents) which will drive you up to the indigenious town called Dos Mangas. Besides being from an indigenous town, I interestinlgy found out that it isn´t even registered on google maps. Neither you will find the town itself nor the road going there. Which felt a bit weird as I always use google maps to localize mysef a bit.
The town is small and hasn´t much besides a couple of shops were you can by some self-made souvenirs. The highlight of the area is the hiking which you can do from there. Either you go to the waterfalls or to some natural swimming pools, both two hours from there. Usually you go with a guide or by horse but apprently as there are almost no tourists, they also offer you to go by yourself. The map were two lines on the back of my ticket (entry $2,50) so I wasn´t really sure if I was on the right track but did well in the end. I didn´t do the whole hike as my feet injuries still hurt in the shoes but it was a beautiful quite hike anyways. I saw lots of birds and enjoyed nature (this time the path was much wider than in the Amazon which left me with a better feeling). Sill it might feel weird if you are in the jungle hearing crazy sounds now and then and knowing that the last human being is at least an hour away from you. It was still good to go there and its a nice day trip for those looking for a jungle break within their beach time.
Another day I decided to turn right. Right side on the beach till reaching the other side of the beach – my aim for that day. I had no idea how far this might be so I had to found out that it is 17 long km to la Rinconada and back! A pretty walk but walking like four hours in the sand might get exhausting. I had lunch at the small town, there are places were you get the typical set lunch for less than $3. I had a bit bad luck and got bitten while eating so I walked back with a swollen hand. This time I had the honour of a wesp.
Besides that it was a nice walk which you definitely should do in case you are staying in Olon. Go for the challenge (and bring water – there were no bars on the beach).
Puerto Lopez and Los Frailes beach
In Olon there are buses passing directly to Los Frailes, one of the most beautiful beaches I heard. The beach is nice, but with some sun it would have defintely looked more inviting. It was too cold to stay on the beach but I went there doing the 2 hours hike from the entrance which is totally recommended! You pass through some view points and two others vigen beaches. The nature there looked so different, really dry, white bushes and some cactus. Felt like a different world.
After a walk on the beach itself and a short break I went back to the entrance (the direct way is around 30 min) and took a bus to Puerto Lopez. The town is not really nice, the beach is ok but nothing special and after having lunch (more expensive than in Olon) I returned as there wasn´t much to see. Bus from there to Olon takes around 45 minutes ($2) and is a nice ride along the coast.
Resuming this was the perfect relax and just what I needed as the next month is already quite preplanned with a lot to do, new discoveries and plenty to experience!