Spanish lessons, hikes, sunsets and cocktails!

Trip Start Apr 21, 2013
Trip End Jun 30, 2013

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Flag of Ecuador  , Guayas,
Thursday, May 23, 2013

It is difficult to sum up my time in Montanita, as the main reason I went there was to learn Spanish.  Although the school was good, most of the teachers were fantastic and I feel like I learnt a lot, when I look back at my time at Montanita I think I will reflect more about the great people that I met and the awesome times we had together. 

Most of us stayed in the Cabanas, which is like your first week of university, but in a tropical location, with a swimming pool.  Each week there were new students coming and going, which meant there was always someone to chat to and always a party going on for one reason or another.  Cocktail alley makes a roaring trade from the students, as a cocktail seems to be the perfect accompaniment to a gorgeous sunset on the beach and then the party goes on to one of the only clubs in Montanita.  I managed to largely keep myself focused on making it to my lessons rather than partying too hard and thankfully my girlfriends were more than happy to have girlie movie nights in

Some of the evening highlights were a firework display, which was possibly one of the most dangerous events that I have attended in a long time.  There were fireworks shooting off in every direction and at one point we all had to hit the floor before we had our eyebrows burnt off.  There were also BBQ nights, Ecuadorian cooking evenings, cocktail making and numerous dinners booked for 20 people or more.  We were also very partial to testing out some locally brewed beers, after a good session of yoga at the beach side yoga studio. 

After all of the hard work during the week we decided to organise some hikes for the weekends.  On one Saturday a group of us went to the "Isla Del Plata", which is a island off the coast of Ecuador.  It is inhabited by hundreds of blue and red footed boobies, which are possibly the cutest birds I have ever seen.  They always hang out in pairs and just look up at the camera with a curious expression on their faces.  We all had a great day walking across the island, and then went snorkelling to cool down from the intense afternoon heat. 

On another occasion I went hiking in the nearby national park with two guys who were also attending the school, Peter and Sam.  It was a great walk along a coastal pathway, which brought us to a fairly deserted beach.  It was the perfect place to have a picnic and then swim in the sea, before drying off playing a game of frisbee. 

Amongst these highlights of my time in Montanita I also managed to go to school for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.  Which meant that I left the small beachside town with better Spanish but also with memories of some great day trips, cool evenings and an appreciation for having the opportunity to meet some great people.
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Gramma on

Looks like so much fun, and learning Spanish too.Lovely scenery. So appreciate all the news Very interesting. I love those boobie birds..... Love and hugs

Karen on

Just what you needed Gem! new friends and a new focus to keep from missing Kory TOO much! Gorgeous scenery you captured...I agree with Gramma, the boobie birds are just as odd as their name!! You look rested now Gem, and glad that you are still blogging for us!

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