Last weekend, I had the chance to venture to another region of Ecuador for the first time: the coast. So far I have only been in the mountain highlands (la sierra). While the bus ride was long, I was able to spend time with friends, accomplish a little bit of reading for my classes, and see the views out the window. The scenery changed from the sierra to subtropical cloud forest (like Mindo) to lots of land in the “coast region” but not at the coast itself. We stopped for dinner along the way at a little place that must accommodate travelers. Afterwards there were lots of fruit, palm, and other tropical farms. Since we could only take the bus to Bahia (due to all of the direct buses to Canoa being full), we thought about spending the night there but were able to get a taxi for cheap to Canoa.
The town of Canoa is small beach town that appears to run mostly on tourism and a little bit of fishing. During the day, I could see small fishing boats with motors attached going out directly from the beach through the surf. Canoa was very popular among Ecuadorian tourists and foreign tourists alike (especially because it was a holiday weekend in Ecuador). The beach isn’t particularly large, but is very nice and clean.
There were SO many restaurants in the town, serving great food. On Friday, I had seafood for three meals of the day: fried fish and plantain for breakfast (a traditional coastal breakfast), ceviche for lunch, and rice with clams for dinner. On Saturday I had a wonderful spaghetti with calamari and octopus. It was very nice eating different food than the kind of food that is always present in the sierra.
Surfing is very popular in Canoa because the water is warm and the waves are great. I can certainly attest to the water being the perfect temperature, warmer than Hawaii even. Many of my friends decided to take surfing lessons, while I opted to boogie board instead.
One more interesting sights was the abundance of beautiful seashells. In Oregon, there are usually only a few types that are nice but nothing spectacular. Here there were so many different types, including conch shells.
I’m glad that I had the chance to visit the coast. It is yet another Ecuador. Note, the photos used in this entry were taken by my friend Annalise because for some reason I didn’t end up taking any photos this trip.