There are many places to plan a getaway on the coast when someone needs a beach-fix. The most popular are Salinas (a mini Miami Beach...term used lightly), and further north the towns of Montanita (think surfer dudes), Olon (quiet village close to the party scene of Montanita), and Puerto Lopez (launch point to the Isla de la Plata...aka Poor Mans Galapagos).
For those who live in Guayaquil, Playas (aka General Villamil) is only about an hour away. In Spanish 'Playas' means 'beach', but in this case, Playas is the name of the beach town of about 24,000. It's also cheaper than Salinas or Montanita. There's nothing fancy about it, it's just a basic Ecuadorian town that happens to be on the waters edge.
Of course, since I had my car I had to get out and explore the surroundings. The entire area is flaaaaaat and dryyyyyyyyyy with lots of scrubbrush. Not very exciting. But, there were some gems to be found.
|Iglesia San Jacinto Del Morro|
(in the town of El Morro)
|I like above-ground cemeteries. There's so much more character.|
|Outside of Playas I came upon an interesting development so starkly different than the area around it.|
|Each of these conch-shaped structures housed a small eatery.|
|Beautiful bouganvilla rambled overhead.|
|The sand dune creatures are watching you!!!|
|A long covered bench area overlooking the beach while you wait for your transport.|
|High heeled shoes? Top of the line shoes? I've got a great line of shoes for you! You need a size 8 1/2 D in a slip-on?|
Sorry, we're out of those.
|I wonder how many times it took to get ONE pair up there??|
|Church of Jack-in-the-Box|
So, the previous segment was what I discovered by driving out of town one way. Then, I chose to drive out of town the other way. Off to one side of Playas is a few mid-rise condo buildings that, from afar, look nice but once you get closer the class-level drops quickly. I followed a road that passed them and out to what seemed the middle of nowhere. There were a few billboards with tattered promotions of a real estate development on the beach. So, I turned.
And this is what I found:
|Clearly, not a well-maintained or much-travelled road due to the vegetation taking over.|
|There are sectioned off lots 'AVAILABLE!!'|
|Even the lanes between lots were named.|
|A lot of blue paint was used....once upon a time.|
|Down on the beach and off to the right wasa supposed to be the great gathering center with cabanas, lounge chairs, and a restaurant. But, it never took off and now stands weathered and beaten up.|
|Looking off to the left back towards Playas and the mid-rise condos.|
|I walked down the bluff to the crescent-shaped beach which had beautiful rock outcrops. Not a soul was around.|
|The weathering of the rock outcrops created some interesting shapes (souls?).|
|With the two shades of gray and charcoal, and the cuts and crags, one can easily spot creatures.|
Look towards the top/right of the photo. A whale's long nose and mouth?
Now, look to the left above center. See the eye? Another whale?
|See what I see?|
|Ummmm...the windsock is not a good indicator (in more ways than one).|
|The runway. I guess the swoop at the end was to help you lift off?|
Actually, the airport is no longer in operation.
Well, that's the end of this story and I'm sticking to it.
|Dad made me stay home.|