In my last post, I took the uncomfortable step of pledging to be more direct in reviews of certain hostels, tours etc. There’s no point in writing a review if you’re not honest! It shouldn’t have to make me feel uncomfortable if I’m being unbiased. The reason why I wrote that last post is because I need to come clean about my feelings for Rio Muchacho Farm near Canoa and would be really happy to get feedback on this because I felt like it’s not living up to it’s ethos as well as the sparkling comments it received in Lonely Planet- I also have to say that it was the last time I really took a recommendation from LP because I just feel like it’s not for me; a bit commercial, outdated and sometimes it delivers a big misrepresentation of a place which is ultimately misleading. Ok, here goes.
Ok, first off…here I am saying sorry for having fallen off the radar again which makes me cringe a little bit because I was determined not to leave my blog neglected and feel a tiny bit like a cliché, but during the trip I realised that it’s environment-permitting whether I get to post or not. The good news is that our travels took an adventurous turn which meant we either didn’t have electricity, didn’t have time to sit down and write the posts because we were spending a night in a small town and then moving on, or the internet was just too slow where we were to keep up with the blog. Although I am behind, we’re back in a fixed place now so I have all the time I need to get back into it and get those tips down and I have quite a few after travelling over 15’000 miles last year.
Another thing: at the start of the trip I had the dilemma of staying in a hostel where the owner was lovely to us but the room just wasn’t up to scratch. I think it’s common to be in that predicament- she was a sweetheart but the bed sheets were dirty and when I asked for a clean set, those were dirty as well. I decided not to say anything and I didn’t mention anything on this but I thought to myself, it kind of defeats the purpose of passing on information if I’m not being completely honest so starting from now I will be 100% fair when I’m writing about certain experiences. Starting with the next post.
Happy new year, I hope everyone has travel plans this year and that you manage to have a little escape be it for a few days, weeks or months. Even if you’re a tourist in your own city, it’s still great to get out and see and learn. Although my parents are in a little bit of a pickle over my lifestyle, I hope to be heading to Asia and Australia with my babe later on in the year so will be working solidly for the next few months to make sure we are prepared. I’m excited and I hope we can pull it off so all tips on Asia (and I mean anywhere, we still don’t have any concrete decisions on what countries we shall be visiting) are extremely welcome.
Ok, let’s do this.
When we were talking to locals in Puerto Lopez, a lot of people asked us if we’d been to Los Frailes and Machalilla National Park. The look on our little curious faces prompted the locals to tell us that we could not miss it and tales of crystal water and safe surf. It’s billed as one of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador and part of Machalilla National Park, a gated reserve found 12 km north of Puerto Lopez and perfect for a little day trip because it opens at 8 am and closes at 4pm.
We passed through on our drive north to Canoa and were greeted by the friendliest security guard I’d ever met- I would have liked to buy him a beer but he was working and we were driving so it wasn’t the best idea. Once he established that smoking is not allowed in the park and all rubbish must be taken with visitors we were on our way to have a little look.
The water wasn’t as crystal as we’d hoped because the sun wasn’t out but it was still a beautiful deserted beach. If you go, bring something to eat because there is only a kiosk selling ice cream and little touristy things, and toilets.
Apparently the best time of year to visit is January to April when I assume photo opportunities arise such as the first photo. For the rest of the year, you’ll probably end up with the kind of photo that I took. But it was still nice! Worth a visit.
Swish photo from here.
Before I begin on the wonder that is the Humpback Whale tour in Puerto Lopez, I have to tell you something. From a young age I have been in love with whales and sea life. I grew up with the dream of seeing any type of whale in the wild; Blue, Humpback, Sperm…maybe not Orcas after seeing how cunning they are with their prey, anyway, you get it- I really hoped one day I’d get the chance. And then we were on our way to Puerto Lopez and I realised my dream was about to become reality and I couldn’t wait, I secretly had visions of me diving spectacularly off the side of the boat and being taken to the depths of the sea to witness what it is they do down there. I actually did think that, it looks like my childhood imagination remains with me.
The whale season in Puerto Lopez officially begins on the 22nd of June and ends in September-October and while it’s mainly Humpbacks, Orcas have also been spotted (I only just found that out now!). Depending on the time of the season, the Humpies might be travelling through the area or coming to give birth in the bay- the shape and current means that it is harder for sharks or other predators to attack the newborn calfs.