So after a truck ride from Salinas to Guaranda, followed by a four hour bus journey to Guayaquil, I was amazed that I was able to catch a bus straight to Puerto Lopez. The only thing was that I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet (those of you who know me well can only imagine the state I must have been in ;0) . So with half an hour to get to the next bus and ram some food down my throat, whilst trying to see if I could find some accommodation for the evening in Puerto Lopez I frantically ran around the huge bus terminal.
I said goodbye to the girls and made my way to the bus, ready for the next 5 hour trip. A weird English man sat next to me, who luckily was replaced after realising he had the wrong ticket number, with a Dutch couple. I swapped with the boyfriend so they could sit with each other and was then letched on by the man next to me, who actually was a bit of a joker. I pretended I didn’t understand Spanish and that seemed to shut him up. The journey was long, hot and pretty tough on my back but eventually I arrived in Puerto Lopez, which appeared to consist of about 6 streets and a beach…little else.
I was staying along the beach in a really quaint wee place, overpriced, but I felt safe (apart from when in bed and thinking I was going to be attacked due to all of the ‘cultural’ noises from insects and other creatures living in the jungle outside of my room!). The weather wasn’t great for the few days that I was there, so I spent the time writing and catching up on some reading. Luckily Jane, my Ozzy mate from earlier in the trip, came down to meet me for a while and seemed accepting of my new attire there, which consisted mainly of jobby catchers with big boots and a cardigan! I truly looked horrendous for the whole time I was in Puerto Lopez, but the lack of clean clothes and constantly changing weather made it all the more difficult .
The highlight of the trip, though, was the excursion over to Isla de la Plata (also known as the budget version of the Galapagos). The weather again was not great, but some sun did appear in the afternoon which was a pleasant surprise. On the one hour journey over to the island, we were lucky enough to encounter a couple of whales breaching. Even though I have seen this a few times, it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful they are. Coming up out of the murky, stormy waters alongside us, I have to admit I felt a little fear at times, just thinking of their size and how much at the mercy of nature we were sat in the open seas.
Eventually we made it over to the island where we trekked up and along one of the routes allowing us to view hundreds of Blue Footted Boobies. They are seriously the funnies birds I have ever come across and they make such a funny noise! We also saw a heap of Frigate birds, whilst looking over at a group of whales playing in the distant seas. It was amazing to be surrounded by so much nature!
We finished the trek off with a snorkel around one of the bays, which I was surprised about in terms of the clarity of the water, and a spot of lunch before heading back to see more whales on the crossing home. The only thing that would have made this good day any better would have been being with someone else, it is at times like this that travelling alone is a bit rubbish as you want to share the experiences…oh well, not long until Andy would be joining me.
I left Puerto Lopez on the overnight bus back to Quito where I spent the day with an Irish girl escaping the horrendous rains by drinking in a bar, and then left the next morning to fly to Buenos Aires.
Ecudaor had been a great trip, I had met some cool people and had seen some truly amazing places, yet most importantly I had seen some of the places my ancestor had been all those years ago. It was the end of another adventure, but Buenos Aires was going to be the start of another one.