This guy is free climbing in Krabi, Thailand–no ropes, no nothing, just his own self and a jagged rock on the beach.
Hours spent in Spanish class–my first classroom experience in a decade: 40
Hours spent valiantly struggling to make conversation with my host mother in Quito: 20
Iguanas encountered: 12
Delicious soups consumed: 20
Waterfalls admired: 8
Ankles sprained: 1
Inca ruins visited: 1
Equatorial lines straddled: 1
Waves dived in: hundreds
Presidential palaces toured: 1
Chicago Bulls paraphernalia seen: countless items
Total days spent in Ecuador: 47
Total money spent: $2,663.25
Average per day: $56.66
Total money spent, minus the airfare: $1,983.25
Average per day, minus the airfare: $42.20
Blissful beach and waterfall moments experienced: many
One of the great pleasures of long-term solo travel is the ability to change plans on a whim. I booked two nights in a small beach hostel in Ecuador, but it turned out to be so close to my platonic ideal of a beach experience, that I stayed for two weeks.
My days followed a pattern: I got up sometime before 10am, ate the best breakfast I had in South America (eggs! warm rolls!), jumped in the waves in the sea, sunbathed, read my book, wrote a blog post, chatted with my new friend Hannah (who was doing a Workaway stint there), snacked, hopped back in the ocean or in the pool, drank a beer while watching the sun set, ate a communal dinner with other hostel guests, chatted and read til bedtime.
Re-reading that paragraph, I’m wondering why I ever left.
It was a short walk to the tiny town of Las Tunas, but for groceries or laundry, you needed to catch the hourly bus into Puerto Lopez, about a twenty-minute ride north. I did that run a few times, but after awhile, when I had the basics for my groceries and wore just my swimsuit and one dress in rotation, I stayed at the beach. If other guests were going into town, I’d ask them to pick something up for me, like a pack of tortillas or a few pieces of fruit. I thought that was all right, but near the end of my stay there, Hannah was asking me if I ever intended to do my own shopping again. I suppose that’s a good sign it’s time to move on.