Monanita - couldn't wait to leave!!!!

Trip Start May 10, 2011
Trip End Apr 15, 2012

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Where I stayed
hostel prana

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Monday, February 20, 2012

It always starts with a bus journey....
So we were able to get a bus from Mancora to take us direct to Guayaquil which meant it dealt with the border crossing - which is known to be a bit dodgy and a pain in the arse as you stamp out of Peru at one bit and then its 2 miles to stamp into Ecuador - a taxi drivers dream being able to charge what he wants seeing poor stranded gringo's - so thankfully we had our bus to do it for us.

It was only a 3 hour trip to Guayaquil where we could get another bus onto Montanita which was another 3 hours so technically not too bad a journey compared to previous.  We get to Guayquil late and somehow find this little spanish lady helping us and another english speaking couple to run through the bus station to get these tickets as there is only so many a day.  Now Lima had no bus station this one was fooking HUGE 2 floors at least so this was a nightmare - get to the ticket booth and its the only one with guards and railings around it with people fighting to get in.  God knows how but once again elbows us manages to get in and gets a ticket to Santa Elena a nearby town to Montanita where we can get another bus to take us the rest of the way but it was leaving now so we are literally running following this wee spanish lady to get to the platform which of course was upstairs and the other end of this huge bus station.  Finally we are on the bus and off we go - 2 hours in wee spanish lady tells us to get off, so we pile off to walk around the corner in this little town to see the bus queue for the local bus to Montanita, now full of a fair few gringos too we wait about 20 mins.  So to set the scene in South America the "local" buses just basically drive through town shouting out the window where they are going and people can get on anytime you just wave it down jump on and it takes off soon as your foot leaves the ground !!!   I look around there must be at least 25 of us all with backpacks & surfboards - how the hell is this gonna work???  EVERY MAN FOR THEMSELVES thats how - elbows out again and somehow still wearing our backpacks, daypacks on our fronts we squeeze onto this bus getting my bag stuck in the door with a push from behind I am on it woo hoo.  We sit for the next hour with our giant packs on our knees and eventually get off at Montanita - success!!!

Nothing is ever straightforward...
So again its a small beach town but seems really busy - turns out that Carnival is not just celebrated in Brazil people flock to the coast or god knows where to party party.  It was absolutely boiling when we arrived - we drop the bags and I go on the hunt for a room - NIGHTMARE since its carnival not only have the prices tripled but there are no rooms anywhere  - all full or $50-$100 a night!   I then get lost in this town that I now already hate cause Ecuador is meant to be cheap we are meant to be saving money and its packed and there are no rooms - I get back to Marc I just wanna cry its all getting tiring the simplest tasks are taking its toll now after all these months !!  Eventually we get an overpriced room with shared bathroom - bonus was it had a partial sea view and a wee area to sit overlooking the street.  If we stayed 4 nights it was cheaper and she wanted paid in advance, I knew straight away something was up - only once before were we asked to pay upfront and it was in Bangkok where a few hours later we seen the writing on the wall that there were bed bugs - fortunately we got our money back then cause the offer of a spray for the bed just didnt cut it with me!!

Anyway everything was all pretty in the daytime watching the world go by - we were shattered so early night !!!!!!!  FOOKING HELL ON EARTH - with a room that had a gap between the wall and the roof and windows that were so thin - the music that went on ALL night was utterly deafening and I mean like ridiculously loud - once again it was FOOKING samba (are you getting the drift yet how much I hate it) but not only that AGAIN there were about 3 bars around the hostel playing it SOOOOO loud you got to hear 3 songs at once all clashing with each other!!!  This stopped around 7am every god dam night.

We tried the attitude if you cant beat em join em but no matter where you went or what bar you sat in it was all samba stuff and you could ALWAYS hear the bar next doors music!!!!!  WTF how can these people enjoy it- they were loving it !!!!

To say that I hated this place was putting it mildly the beach wasnt that nice and again at night full of people with their tents and little forts they had build around it with their beers and ghetto blasters trying to be louder than the person next to them so again you had to listen to about 5 diff songs !!!! 

We gave up and counted the days till we could get out - having to pay for 4 nights was a killer.

Every street was lined with arts n crafts tat stalls - they were everywhere - some stuff was cool but thats all anyone seemed to do here.  I look at the pics and I think ooo it looks quite nice - amazing how the reality behind pictures can tell another story eh!!  There is a wee video of some samba dancers in the street - this kinda stuff is cool but not listening to it through 3 diff bars !

p.s The currency in Ecuador is actually US dollars and there are loads of fake notes going about so you have to be careful and trying to break a $20 note in a small shop if your buying something small sometimes means leaving the shop with nothing cause they have no change!

Next stop is Banos,Ecuador where its meant to be peaceful and beautiful and has an erupting volcano....

Twin room shared bathroom - a ridiculous 19 a night
Bus from Guayaquil to Montanita- 4 each   
Cost of a large beer - 1.20
a hole in the wall food place serving chicken,rice and beans - 2.50 each

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