Anything after 8 amazing days cruising through the Galapagos Islands was going to have it’s work cut out for it. I almost worried about anywhere we’d visit afterwards because of how great the previous week had been. What if nothing else was cool anymore after the Galapagos?
Thankfully after our 8 day cruise, Meg and Al choose to spend another 4 days with us in Ecuador (unfortunately Bex and Matt had to return to Chicago immediately afterwards). The four of us decided a beach for these remaining days together sounded right, and we chose to stay just outside of the infamous party beach town Montañita – close enough to dabble in the partying and beach, but far enough away up a hill so that the techno music and screaming 20 year olds wouldn’t keep us old foogies up all night.
Although the Montañita scene was initially a shock to our system after 8 days on remote islands surrounded by only 8 other people, and wasn’t quite as cool as waking up in a new place and seeing wild life each day, I felt like it was just what I needed. It was the perfect way to decompress and slowly ease the pain of the Galapagos trip being over. Why?
Our Airbnb. As I mentioned, it was on the top of a huge hill away from all of the craziness. The first night after arriving from a long travel day, we were picked up by some old German man in a 4 wheeler to take us up the big, muddy hill. Meg and I were squished in the front and couldn’t understand a word he was saying while Dan and Al were thrown in the back with the luggage. After this we were a little unsure (okay, really unsure) of the location but it ended up being a great choice for 4 nights.
Down time. After a week of adventuring, exploring, and having our senses exploded, it was great to have time to relax together. Al and I spent our mornings coloring (and evenings for that matter) in Megan’s sister Kate’s new adult coloring book while Megan discovered and brought the concept of Butt Rock into our lives. We lazily did whatever we wanted in the mornings, sat on the beach during the day and chatted with beers or rum and cokes late at night. For me, this was great to not only have a chance to recap the week we had in the Galapagos but catch up more than we were able to before.
Partied like we were 21 again. Although this lead to an incredible hangover the next day, I really enjoyed going out with our best friends and just having a great time.. at a bar.. at multiple bars! Dan and I really don’t party too much since we’ve been traveling (yes, we definitely drink) but it’s just not the same when it’s the two of us.
Montañita has a strip of small, local cocktail booths that leads to the beach called “La Calle de Cocktailes” or in other words, Cocktail Street. We frequented Mojito Beach everyday for some fruity, slushie rum drinks and made best friends with the ladies who worked there (so much so that Al sang in her ear and I’m pretty sure another one kissed me).
I also really loved the laid-backness of Montañita. We went into bars and restaurants wearing the exact same clothes we had on at the beach with sand all over us. Nothing felt upscale or pretentious. Dan and Al were easily able to wear their dank tanks (as seen in the cover photo) anywhere we went. In fact, it was encouraged! Thankfully we were there during the week so it wasn’t as crazy or crowded.
Passion fruit on the left and raspberry on the right.
It was still painful watching Meg and Al walk down the hill away from our Airbnb at 4 a.m. to catch their bus to Guayaquil and the realization that we were all back to long distance friendships. But later as the sadness subsided as we headed for Spain, I was more thankful that our friends were able to be with us in our last moments in South America and sent us off with Butt Rock songs stuck in our heads. It’s hard to be sad when all you can think about is NickelBack.