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Montanita, Ecuador

Getting dropped off on the side of the road half asleep in Montanita was an interesting wake up to a seemingly abandoned beach town. The landscape was also super different than anywhere else with a more dessert-like feel. I saw some taxis down the street to the entrance of town and called one to my hostel which I knew was too far to walk since it wasn't right in town according to I arrived at my hostel, Casa Del Sol (highly recommend) and was greeted by a warm welcoming surf/yoga/buddha vibe. It was very refreshing to be back not only on the coast, but in more of a “fun” environment as opposed to in the middle of the mountains. The manager came over and said I could leave my stuff in the storage unit so I did that and started to charge all my electronics as well as eat some breakfast. It was so great that they were serving breakfast since I was starving and the town was too far. I caught up on some computer stuff until my room was ready, which was at the top corner with a view of the ocean and I was super happy about that since I was staying for a few nights. I unpacked and then headed to the beach for a little (the water was cold so I didn't stay long) and then went to the 5pm yoga class. It ended up just being me and the yoga instructor which was the manager of the hostel and we did a one-on-one ashtanga class which felt amazing. I hadn't taken a class in a month and it was very calming and challenging at the same time. We also chatted a bit about both being yoga teachers and it was nice to get to know her story of how she opened up this hostel in Ecuador a few years ago (originally from Canada). After that I went to get dinner at the Thai restaurant across the street right on the beach and got the pad thai that was delicious. Then I met up with that Israel guy I had just met in Banos and his Israel friend which was this 22 year-old girl who brought along a huge blunt to smoke on the beach. We talked a little, had some beers, played some pool, and then walked around town and got nutella/banana crepes which seemed to take 30 minutes. Everything in South America takes twice as long or even triple as long as you would expect...they really like to take their time. I walked back to my hostel alone afterwards on the beach which I was skeptical about because it was somewhat late but I called my mom and ended up running into a herd of cows. It was bizarre because they weren't being led by anyone and just randomly walking on the beach (the things you experience randomly as a tourist). I slept well and woke up to go surfing the next morning - finally my scar was healed and it was time to get back in the water. The waves weren't big and it was really high tide but I went in and did my best for an hour until breakfast and then yoga at 10:30am. I ate with this girl from Australia who gave me some pointers for when I go there and this guy from Italy/California who actually had a lot of similarities as me...being Italian, having lived in. Naples especially (he loved Napoli), California and Colorado connections. The Israel guy and his friend came to yoga and it was a nice flow class with like 6 people. Afterwards I went to the beach to read and hang out and then was going to surf but the waves weren't great so I went to hang out with the Israelis. We went to watch a movie in the cinema of their hostel and it was a nice relaxing afternoon. We then went to get food and were going to go out to the bars but everyone wanted to sleep so we took a nap and I went to the bars with one of the girls in the group. It was fun but nothing special and I got to bed around 2am and woke up to have breakfast by 9am, checked the waves and they weren't great so I just read on the beach and hung out. Met up with them for yoga at 5pm and then they had an Israeli thing for dinner and ended up getting drunk at it so I met up with them around 11pm and we went out and it wasn't getting crowded until about 1am or 2am and we went to a few clubs and stayed at this techno club mostly. It was fun! But then I was hungover and tired the next day because I didn't go to sleep until about 4am so I missed surfing and just went to the beach to nap. I finally stopped feeling hungover after some coffee and 2 fish tacos. I went for a nice run and did my own yoga practice and then relaxed and had a burger and wine at the hostel. I got up to surf and ended up meeting this girl from Germany and we got lunch afterwards at this restaurant in town. She was traveling in a caravan with her boyfriend but he was away for a week in Canada. It was nice chatting with her because she told me about this hidden surf town called Lobitos in Peru (which I ended up going to because of her). I then got my bus ticket for that night and went back to pack my things and then went to meet up with the Israelis and got dinner and then we headed to the night bus for Mancora, Peru (they were also going to Mancora) which I believe was about 10 hours.

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