We stayed in Quito again for a couple of days after the Otavalo markets, where we decided that the next stop was the coast as we didn’t want to miss the whale watching season. The only way to get to the coast directly was a 10-hour coach journey. Having had a couple of cases of car sickness and knowing we would have to go along lots of mountainous roads, we felt it would be better to break the journey up in a couple of stages. We are not in a rush, so why not.
First leg of the journey was Quito – Quevedo, a 5-hour journey where we descended from the mountains to more or less sea level. And higher temperatures. It was quite nice to feel the warmth again getting off the bus. We had some problems finding affordable accommodation. The hotels were either really expensive or absolute dives. Finally we found a reasonable place….or so we thought. It turned out to be a hotel where you could rent a room for a few hours. We all crammed in a double bed room and myself and Bella slept on the floor. And although the showers were see-through with blue lights and the room had no sheets, we actually all slept well. It was well sound-proofed (ha!) and the owner was very helpful and friendly (I am sure he and the taxi-driver had a good giggle about the weird English family that slept in a brothel). It was also very well-finished and spotless. We have had far worse experiences on this trip and it was quite interesting to see a place like this on the inside. And the kids had absolutely no idea of course, they just really like playing with the funny lights in the room.
Next night we had a very uneventful stay in Portoviejo. We didn’t really have time to look at the town, we just stayed over the road from the bus station and left the next day for Puerto Lopez.
Puerto Lopez on first impressions was a bit ‘unfinished’. Lots of half finished buildings and lots of dirt and rubbish everywhere. Strangely the place did grow on us as it was friendly and the food was excellent just about everywhere we ate (that certainly helps).
We had a day of whale watching there and it was absolutely amazing. The whales come so close to the boat that Bella actually got very scared and panicked a bit. The rest of us just thought it was amazing. The tour guide was very friendly and on the way back they let us sit at the top of the boat, courtesy of the captain. All in all an amazing trip.