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Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Trip with Granny's Cousins - Part III (Montanita)

Just an hour down the coast from Puerto Lopez is the town of Montanita.   This makes my 3rd time there.  It's where I met Granny nearly a year ago.  

How to describe Montanita?  Well.....a bit hippie, a lot surfer, bamboo/tiki architecture, party atmosphere, artists, dreadlocks, a bit on the wild side, barefoot.  That about does it!

We settled into our digs at SoleMare which is located at the surfers end of the beach rather than smack dab in Montanita-central.  The setting was nice but there was no AC and it was humid. Dano don't do humidity.  I sweat....I pour.  The rooms were more expensive but nowhere near as nice as our rooms and amenities at Nantu in PL.  It didn't take long before I was not liking it.  Carlos, the owner/manager, immediately chastised me for raising the window blinds to let more air in, because they are fragile and may break.  "DON'T TOUCH THESE!!".   Gimme a break!!  I also parked my car at the worng angle.  I was not supposed to eat in the room.  I went for a walk on the beach late that night as it was pleasant and cool.  When I returned to SoleMare, Carlos's father jumped to his feet and scolded me for not hosing off my feet before entering the complex and ultimately my room.  ETFOM!!!

But, let's back up a bit.  It was now Monday.  Banks open.  There are no banks in Montanita...only an ATM.   Maddy-Mae and Opie were signed up for surfing lessons.  Granny and Mah-maw were proudly waiting to take 157 photos of every surfing movement they made.  I, on the other hand, was miserable with the room, hot and humid.  I got the idea to drive to Salinas, about 50 miles away, to the bank and bring my car registration fees current.   The cool part of the drive was the fact I would be COOL in my AC car!!!  Before I left, I took advantage of the huge mud puddles outside the complex to scoop up mud and fling it at my car....primarily the license plate to obsure at least one of the digits so cops couldn't read the entire thing and enter in their on-board computer.  My car was already a muddy mess due to substantial rains in days beforehand that caused a lot of dirt runoff onto the paved roads.

In Salinas, I paid the $375 registration fees at the bank and got a receipt, then drove back to Montanita.

We strolled through the village, admiring beautiful jewelry art displayed by the artists on simple tables made of plywood and sawhorses, or just laid out on sheets on the sidewalk.  Dinner and a few beers and a stroll back to the complex via the beach and we all crashed.

After a fitfull night sleep sprawled across the top of the bed with fan on full force, I refused breakfast and hopped in my car and headed for my favorite hotel in Montanita...Charo's (as in 'coochy coochy').  There I had breakfast and asked about room rates/availability.  They had a room for the same price as I paid at SoleMare but it had AC and the complex had a pool and jacuzzi.  BOOK EM' DANO!!!  So, I loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly...uhhh...Charo's, that is.   I laid out by the pool, dipped in the cool jacuzzi, had a beer (or two), and napped in my hammock on my balcony listening to the roar of the surf.

I drove back to SoleMare to watch the kids on their 2nd day of surfing lessons.  They were up on their boards and having a ball.  Granny and I took to the surf ourselves, sans boards.  I tried to body surf but could never catch a wave.

The next morning, we headed to our next destination, Banos.   But, first we needed to make a stop just outside Montanita to visit Denise's tree-house home with her boyfriend who handcrafts surfboards out of balsa wood.  It was amazing to see how someone from the Pacific Northwest in the USA was living in a 3-level 'house' made of bamboo, open air, no glass windows, bare-bones kitchen, no walk-in closets, no dishwasher, no car, no AC....just the raw basics.  Her boyfriend proudly showed us his very rudimentary factory where he produces highly sought-after surfboards to aficionados around the world.

After our short visit, we were back on the road for a lonnnng drive back and through Guayaquil and onto a route I'd never driven before.  I had no clue how long the drive might be, what the road condition would be, whether it was flat or hilly or winding.  We just winged it knowing that somewhere it would connect us up to Riobamba where it would merge with a highway I'm familiar with to take us into Banos.

Why Banos?  Because Opie wanted to see a VOLCANO!!

Enjoy the photos!!!


Just before entering Montanita is this intriguing cliffside.....thing.

The flipside of what you see on the previous photo.  So, where's the two elephants, 2 billygoats, 2 ostriches, 2 zebras......????

Beautiful downtown Montanita.

This was under construction the last time I visited, now it's done.   Odd architecture for Montanita, but then again Montanita is odd.


The courtyard of SoleMare.

Opie and Maddy-mae practicing their technique before heading to the surf.

Annnnd.....HE's UP!!!   

Opie chatted up this woman who joined us for dinner.  She looks a lot like a younger Granny.

Opie, Victor (the board maker), Maddy-mae


  1. You do more complaining than an old woman. Hopefully we can read some more positive blogs from you soon because you are an interesting read. Just a shame you are so negative.

    1. Dear (I'd love to publish your name which I'm certain I know....but I won't)...

      I don't why I bother to reply to some of these very immature, over-the-top, rude comments. Out of ALL that I wrote in this entry, all you can focus on is the fact that I was not content with my room or the attitude of the owners? Nothing else counted? My entire entry was me spewing negativity and whining??? GET REAL!!! It's MY f___ing experience and that's what my blog is f____ing ABOUT!!! Everyone experiences things they are not content with and they have all the right in the world to express it. Even YOU.

      I'm not going to be a writer who only writes about all the glorious, wonderful, tip-toe-thru-the-tulips stuff in the world and banish anything and everything that could ever possibly be construed as less than a bed of roses. It's not balanced. It's not real. It serves no one any good....especially those who read my blog for the honest, straightforward content so they might avoid some of the same potholes I encountered.

      Build a bridge and get over yourself!!!

      WARNING....you're REALLY not gonna like my next blog entry. So, start crafting your bashing now. Better yet, why don't you drop off and read other blogs who write about posies they spotted on their daily walk??

      One of these days I'm gonna write a blog entry posting the ridiculously stupid negative comments I've gotten (yeah, I've saved them). These...supposedly from seasoned, mature, retirement-age folks!! UGH!!!

  2. Dano the donkey strikes again.

  3. Whine, whine, whine ..... who wants/needs that ??

  4. I really don't understand the trollish "whine, whine, whine" responses to the blog. It is titled "Dan in EC". It is about HIS transition and HIS day-to-day experiences (AND MISHAPS). It is clearly stated in the effing profile and blog description! I read it fully expecting positive AND negative experiences. This is not a glorified travelogue universally praising Ecuador as being 100% perfect. I LOVE living in Florida after being a lifelong new yorker but I can still find things that I wish were different.
    Personally, I enjoy reading his positive AND negative experiences. Some of it resonates with me as I am a first generation Ecuadorian-American. I love my Ecuadorian family, roots, culture and of course my Cuenquita. That doesn't mean that I would love sleeping in an AC-less room or that I would shrug off some of the notoriously corrupt police and traffic officers.

  5. Boy!!! Couldn't have said it better. THANK YOU!!!

  6. Dear sir we are trying to get in touch with you in regard of the incident with traffic police. My name is David Baquerizo and I`m ahead of the Internal Affairs of the Comision de Transito del Ecuador please get in contact with me to dbaquerizo@cte.gob.ec

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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About Me

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Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

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