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Montañita Project "Learn to surf"

semi-overcast 24 °C

After a month in the jungle for me and 3 weeks in a poor suburb to Quito for Laura, we were exited to be back to travelling. In addition, we had been in Baños like 6-7 times meeting up there on weekends etc. Even though we loved Baños, we were also glad to see something new. I had since a long time ago said that I wanted to have a week of surfing in Ecuador. After debating pros and cons of going more north or even going south to Peru, we decided that Montañita seemed to be the most convinient place to go. Its also the place that has the most consistent surf.

After a though night travelling by bus we finally got to Montañita early in the morning. The place has a rep as a party desitination, and when we arrived at 8am there were still some drunken revellers on the streets. As it was still bank holliday in Ecuador all the places had trippled their prices. We must have gone to 25 different hostals, until we decided to take a bit more luxurious place further along the beach so that we could get a decent nights sleep. Actually the place we got was amazing, a gigant bungalow right on the beach, and the price was pretty much the same as the cheapest skanky hostals we saw. The second night we changed to a cheap hostel right in the middle of party central. We thought as the bank hoilliday was over and people had been partying for 5 days straight it would be quite in town. However, we thought wrong. In addition to the discos being loud, someone parked a car just below our room, blasting out music crazy loud at 5am. After two nights of very little sleep we moved a third time to a more quite place just out of reach for the crappy disco music played in the clubs. Felt like an old man, but after Merazonia, I was just too used being in bed before 22pm.

Anyways, we were here to surf and not to party. In Montañita there is one famous righthander reefbreak out by the rocks. This place looked way to scary for me, but it was amazing seeing the pros having a go at it. The rest are various breaks along the 500meter long beach, which is ideal for real beginers. Actually as the breaks are so irregular and waves break different every time, its not an ideal spot for surfers at my level that are beyond catching whitewater, but not good enough to read waves and paddle strong enough.

I ended up renting a 7 inch board, which is a bit too small for me, but the first board I had was really wide and pretty stable anyway. Rented at the same place for a few days, but when they tried to charge for the weatsuit even though they had forgotten to say that you have to pay for it, I decided to switch place. The first day was obviously tought, but still managed to stand up twice. Unfortunantly this would be pretty much the standard for the rest of the week. Though I have to say in defense that the waves got bigger and more difficult throughout the week. The first 4-5 days I was really sore, but then I felt like I started to build up some paddle stamina. Still the last two days when the waves got too big, I was really struggling to even make it out. Due to a really powerful current, you would have to paddle for up to 10min just to make it out behind the break. There were quite a few beginner surfers together with me that were being tumbledried.

While I rented boards, Laura took some surf lessons. She has never been much for watersports, but I have give it to her that she really kept on trying. She was all bruised up on her legs and some small wounds on her knees and thighs. We ended up getting to know a few people around the second surf rental place on the beach and it was quite fun just hanging out. They had this balance rope thing too which was pretty fun to try. As we started to get to know more people, we started to also like Montañita more. The first couple of days we were actually pretty sceptical to the place, but it definately grew on us.

Laura tried to book a salsa lesson, but the girl that was going to teach turned out to be a bit of an idiot. We have made a reservation for the class, but when we showed up we were told that the girl had had to cancel and that there was another type of danceclass. After that we were told that the girl that was going to teach us was actually participating as a student in this other danceclass. Laura obviously got so pissed off and decided that we would look elsewere for someone a bit more serious. It took a bit of research but we later joined a course together with a german girl/woman. We learned directly that our previous danceknowldge would be useless here as the steps were completely different. Back to square one, but I have to say that I preferred this salsa style more than the one we did in Quito. Ended up only taking two classes, due to the weekend, but we pic up a few funky moves.

Most nights we would have a cheap drink or two at one of the coctail stands (there´s a street in Montañita full with small stands selling cheap coctails). We ended up going to the same place as it was cheapest and quite a crazy guy, El Galan, that worked there. Anyways, on the last night in Montañita we met some cool Colombians by the coctail stand and they invited to have a shot of some cheap sugarcane vodka that they had bought. One shot turned in to two and later on 15 or so. Didn´t realise but they actually had four whole bottles of this vodka thing. I thought the bottle just never ended. We ended up going to some reggeabeach party, where we had more shots and more beers. I was hoping to show my newly aquired salsa moves with one big Colombian girl, but she just said no, no, no and took the lead, throwing me around like a doll. Suppose that Colombia even has a different style of salsa. Colombians are so friendly though, after speaking to them for 10 minutes or so (before they were too drunk) they invited us to stay with their house in Bogota.

We had a great night with the Colombians, partying til 4am or so, but man did we feel hangover the day after...and even the day after that. First time this trip we have had a serious 2 day hangover. After walking around saying goodbye to people and trying to nurse our hangover it was finally time to move on.

Main street Montañita

Main street Montañita


Looked like a festival during the bankholliday, people camping on the beach, bon fires etc

Looked like a festival during the bankholliday, people camping on the beach, bon fires etc


At least I could look like a real surfer when still on the beach

At least I could look like a real surfer when still on the beach


The blue fishing boats of Puerto Lopez

The blue fishing boats of Puerto Lopez

Henrik with his newfound friend

Henrik with his newfound friend

Laura´s new Brazilian look

Laura´s new Brazilian look

Some cool surf art on the wall

Some cool surf art on the wall

Henrik practising his balance on the beach...its harder than it looks

Henrik practising his balance on the beach...its harder than it looks

Mixed seafood ceviche...still can´t believe that Laura eat one after being traumatised in Peru 4 years ago

Mixed seafood ceviche...still can´t believe that Laura eat one after being traumatised in Peru 4 years ago

Waves were amazing on the day we were leaving...oh and this is not me surfing

Waves were amazing on the day we were leaving...oh and this is not me surfing

Posted by hmontonen 17:14 Archived in Ecuador

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