Day 4: Canoa Beach Rest Day

Today was not a ride day, we enjoyed a play day on the beach!  We woke up early & headed out as the sun was coming up.  We slept with the doors open, which was awesome except for the massive amount of mosquito bites on my face & left arm…  We had to have the room sprayed because we were infested.  Apparently I missed the memo to keep the balcony door closed!

Staci met us by the water & we started walking the coast.  We found all sorts of cool things on the beach!  There were tons of starfish, jellyfish, a couple of flippers from turtles that had apparently been munched by sharks, sand dollars, & Shawn found a cool bead that we later found out was an artifact that was used as currency!

Near the fishing boats we found kids throwing small fish up and the birds would catch them!  I tried to buy fish from the guys on the beach, but they insisted that we could have them for free.  It was fun watching the birds catch them!  Even though I wasn’t the best fish tosser!  I think there is a video of my attempts somewhere, but it I haven’t gotten the photos & video from Staci or Shawn yet.

In the afternoon we took our first surfing lesson.  It was super fun even though I was not nearly as good as I had hoped!  We spent some time on a slack line practicing balance.  We walked, jumped, sat & laid on it to simulate the balance we would need on the surf board.  Staci has the best balance of all of us!  We drew a small crowd of giggling locals while we practiced our moves!  Once we hit the water, Shawn stayed out the longest.  We were both successful in getting up multiple times, but staying up proved to be nearly impossible!  Our teacher was fantastic, but he wasn’t able to overcome our lack of skill in a single afternoon!

Downtown we found the Surf Shack, where we picked up Toby, the local sovereign dog.  He walked us around town for quite a while before moving onto another group of tourists.  We had hoped to paraglide, but the season is ending & there wasn’t enough wind.  I was super bummed.

When we got back to the hotel, we met Virgil from upstate New York who was on the same trek as us from Freedom, but a day behind.  He was making the 12 day trip alone & joined us for dinner.   I admire him for making the trip alone!  He has been riding just 3 years.  He had never even practiced changing a tire, but after watching The Long Way Around, he felt compelled to make the trip!

After dinner we headed back to Canoa Beach Hotel.  Shawn & I hung out in the beautiful outdoor bar & visited with the owner Greg, (who is super fun!  He is from Kentucky & has been living in Ecuador for years) a girl Julia from Russia, and a group of cousins from Ecuador.  It was such a fun night!  We learned about Prussia Coffee, which wasn’t coffee at all.  It was an over-sized shot of Jager in a small espresso cup.  It is a sneaky way to have a drink!  It looks like coffee when you put it into a french coffee press, and pour it into a Prussia coffee cup!

After an evening of conversation about flying, earthquakes, adventure, Russia, and drinks, the group of cousins invited Julia and I to dance.  Although I am a horrible dancer, they did their best to teach me multiple dance steps including salsa!  It was such a fun night!  The cousins were all girls from Ecuador who were there on a family vacation.  Their family grows coffee & we later saw their coffee in the shops as we traveled through Ecuador.

Today was a great day!

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