We arrived in PL in the late afternoon. I was tuckered out. I had gotten up early that morning and left for Guayaquil to meet up with the gang at their hostal by 10am. We ate breakfast and hit the road about an hour later. As I was the sole driver, several more hours of driving, the extortion saga, and many miles of...yes....zig-zagging, I simply flung myself on the bed of my cottage, AC on full force, and crashed. The others hit the beach. Based on photos I saw later, Opie enjoyed covering himself in sand and embellishing himself with sand-breasts. Later, we had a nice open-air dinner on the sidewalk and enjoyed the cool breeze.
We stayed at the Nantu http://www.hosterianantu.com/ directly across the beach and a few blocks away from the commercial area. My cottage was very nicely appointed and it had the all-important AC, plus a small porch with hammock. The complex was charming with a large open-air restaurant, swimming pool, jacuzzi, parking, and all for a very inexpensive price.
In the morning after breakfast, everyone walked down to the fishing boats landing where it was buzzing with fresh catch coming in and birds circling overhead. After our guide gave a lonnnng educational dissertation of the sun, the moon, the islands, the currents, and who's know what else (it was all in Spanish, but drawn in the sand) we (sans Granny because she had done-did it before) boarded our boat with about 8-10 others for our cruise to Isla de la Plata, commonly referred to as the Poor Mans Galapagos.
About an hour later, we anchored in a beautiful bay and began our hike across the island. They had several routes of various lengths and challenge. The guide opted for the easy one. We started off traversing the bottom of a ravine then ultimately climbed about 180 steps up to a plateau where we could see almost all edges of the island. The guide stopped along the way to tell us about the various plants (ie; one tree produces a natural anti-mosquito repellent). We saw a lot of salamanders along the way, a plant that closes up when you touch the leaves, and a berry that produces a glue-like substance.
At one point, the guide motioned for us to stop and stay where we were while he quietly walked into low brush, looking for something. Then he motioned us over. Standing in the brush, as if waiting for the one o'clock tour, was a blue-footed boobie. He stared at us, we stared at him. I asked why his feet were grayish. The guide said it was because he was young and the blue color comes with age.
The guide clearly knew where to find boobies. They were clustered along the cliffs in little alcoves, they were hanging out in the brush. The boobies never felt threatened by us. We saw older boobies, young boobies, a baby boobie, and a dead boobie.
The shoreline and cliffs of the Isla de la Plata were spectacular as you'll see in the photos.
Each of the island trails are loops, so you always end up back where you started. After our hiking tour, we boarded our boat again and were treated to fresh watermelon and wheels of pineapple. We motored over to a nearby cove and anchored. Sandwiches and soda were next. One of the boat guides threw bread into the water. Within seconds, beautifully-colored foot-long fish came to the surface and clamored for the food. WOW!!!
With that, we donned masks and snorkels and jumped in to enjoy the warm sea water and the fish. Several of us used our sandwiches to toss small pieces out so they would land right in front of someone so the fish would come up to the surface right in front of them. Others, such as Opie, decided to climb up to the roof of the boat and leap off.
A week or so before, the boat lost it's ladder. When we had to climb aboard from swimming it was difficult to grab hold of anything to hoist yourself out. One of the crew was there to pull on one arm. I felt like I was a whale trying to beach itself. Thank GOD there are NO pictures of it!!!
It was time to head back. It was a beautiful sunny day and we all quietly enjoyed the return trip with smiles on our faces.
In Puerto Lopez, the taxi's are mainly of the Tut-Tut (Tuk-Tuk?) variety....a 3-wheeled contraption powered by a motorcycle. I had never ridden one, so Mah-maw and I rode in one, while Opie and Maddy-Mae road in the other back to our hostal. Another first checked off the list.
Back at the Nantu, Granny was enjoying reading one of those steamy sexy novels when we descended upon their family room. Showers were on the agenda, then we were off to another open-air dinner, early evening shopping, and walking back to our rooms via the beach.
Enjoy the photos!!!
|The gang headed to board our boat to Isla de la Plata|
|Fishing boats of Puerto Lopez|
|Catch of the day.|
|Maddy-Mae, Mah-maw, Opie|
|Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, |
a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.
|"Ah yes....your table is right this way madame"|
|This young'n was trying to lift off...but hadn't mastered it yet.|
|STOP LOOKING AT ME!!! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!! ALL THIS PAPARAZZI!!!|
|To give you an idea of the scale of these cliffs, see the other part of our group near the top and to the right of center?|
|Another shot of the group across the way. We could walk right up to the edge of these cliffs and no one blinked.|
|A baby. AWWWWW!!!!|
|180-step climb and back to our starting point along the bottom of that ravine.|
|Opie...dreaming of yachts, champagne, caviar, and bikini-clad girls.|
|Mah-maw and Maddy-Mae|
|Ditto...plus the fish.|
Need a short-term rental while visiting? You can't be closer to El Centro if you stay here!