Day 102 - November 12th

Yesterday we got a recommendation to check out the morning fish delivery down at the beach. At around 8am, all the fishing boats come to shore and drop off the morning catch. It was a really cool experience - seeing the pandemonium on the beach with at least 50 fishing boats on or near the shore was amazing. We saw all kinds of fish being sold, from hundreds of small bait fish to huge swordfish. There was quite a bit of bycatch too, including eels and a shark. However, it did seem like even the bycatch was being used instead of discarded, which was nice to see. Still pretty intense seeing a shark cut up on the beach. 

A pretty funny thing to watch was the unloading of the bait fish. A boat would come in with hundreds and hundreds of 2 or 3 pound fish, and they needed to get them loaded into a truck to process. The method for this was to scoop them into a plastic tote and carry it across the beach on the fisherman's head. The problem was that the frigate birds would dive bomb the totes and steal fish. So, instead of using a lid, the fishermen would cover the totes with a canvas bag and run. The birds seemed to get smarter and swoop down and rip the bag off before continuing to steal fish. It wasn't very effective. One time the bird dropped the bag on the fisherman's head... So he was running across the beach, totally blind, with a bucket of fish on his head, being attacked by birds. Absolutely hilarious!

Back at the hostel, we had a quick breakky with the UK boys from yesterday's dive. While packing up the bikes, we saw some workers on the roof of the hostel... See if you can spot all the safety infractions! (I can see at least 6)

Today wasn't a very ambitious day for riding. We left Puerto Lopez and headed to MontaƱita, only an hour south. The reviews seemed fun for this town, so we might as well check it out! After an hour on the twisty, fast, coastal road, we arrived. We were planning to stay at a hostel called "Hidden House", which was actually quite hidden and difficult to find. Once we did find it, it seemed super chill and laid back.

Time to check out the town! It seemed very touristy, and clearly catered to the surf tourist community. Lots of restaurants, shops, tour guide booths, dive stores... Lots of stuff going on. The beach was also beautiful, with big waves, beautiful sand, and lots of room for activities. Seemed like the perfect spot for a beach traveller!

After an afternoon siesta, we went back to town for coffee. Turns out there was an important game of footy being played - Ecuador vs Uruguay, for the Russian world cup qualifiers. The whole town came to a standstill to watch the game. And everyone had yellow shirts to cheer on Ecuador. Well, when in Rome... We sat down at the closest bar and joined in the fun! After a pretty good game, Ecuador came out on top 2-1. Woo hoo!

For supper, we went to a restaurant called Chacra de Pepe for some burgers. The restaurant was owned by the dive instructor from yesterday and her husband... They seem to have it figured out - dive instructor and restaurant owner, not a bad gig! They also served craft beers there, so you couldn't go wrong! After a great meal for a great price, we went home to bed. Big riding day tomorrow!

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