When we arrived in Puerto Lopez, a unkempt little town on the water, we got off the bus but promptly got back on to pick up more passengers and ride up the hill to our hotel. Finally, four hours later, we climbed up to the entrance to our colourful home for the next few days, shrouded in fog and mist and grey and the sky drizzling incessantly. The incredible view of the Pacific from our room never materialized.
View of the Sea
After lunch, we asked where we could go for an afternoon adventure. Our hotel was not on the beach as we imagined it to be. There was not enough time to go too far, so Eduardo, the manager of the lodge, suggested we walk out to the road, turn left, find a water facility on the left side to the road and turn right past an empty building on the right side of the road. There was a sign prohibiting us from taking the path we found, since the beach was a nesting site for sea turtles, but we had been advised to ignore the sign. There was a misty rain falling, we were in flip flops, certainly not appropriate footwear, but we forged ahead anyway. Two inches of mud stuck to the bottom of our shoes, which was not easy to get rid of. I finally took my flip flops off, and the mud collected on the soles of my feet so I felt protected. The path was narrow and overgrown with vegetation and went on and on. We could hear the ocean, so we persisted, and finally came to a wonderfully secluded beach. The waves were pounding, there were seabirds fishing, we were alone in this exquisite corner of the world. It was still raining lightly. I spent a long time in the tepid water cleaning off my shoes and feet and hands and whatever else was caked with mud. It was a small patch of sand with rocky cliffs at either end.
We were less muddy and far wetter when we started our climb out. We heard birds everywhere -- this is likely a birder's paradise! Maya immediately got a stick of wood in her foot, which I pulled out but left much of it in her sole. I had foregone my flipflops, but Maya kept hers on as she struggled up the hill in the rain. We arrived back in our room wet and bedraggled and spent as long as we could getting warm in the shower.
These Snails Appeared Everywhere
Our evening was devoted to reading and relaxing. I realized our 'beach' vacation was not going to be lolling about in the sun and surfing waves. We were on the 'Ruta del Sol' near Machalilla Park, with dry tropical forest and archeological treasures to explore, and Isla de la Plata nearby, and whales to see.