Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Coast

I was never fond of the beach, but I thought "hey. maybe seeing and swimming in the Pacific will be make me stop hating beaches and start loving beaches and it will be a fun time." After all, you get these every night:

and then this during the day.

So after ten days at the coast I still don't like the beach. There is too much sand at these places. Maybe if there was a beach with less sand, humidity and ocean I would potentially enjoy five or ten minutes there. Maybe.

So anyway, we took a short plane ride from Quito to Manta, the city that smells of fish. From Manta to a bus station that did not smell of fish. From the bus station to Los Piqueros Hosteria, home (or sandy hell) for the next week and half.

One of the first things we did at the hostel was to visit tide pools. There were sea urchins and stuff. Nothing really interesting. I guess it was ok; there are a lot of creepy crawly things and the occasional fish. I don't like the ocean or its inhabitants that live at its periphery.

The next event on our "things to do when you are close to the ocean list" was a trip to an artisanal fish market at Puerto Lopez, the closest large town. Unfortunately we didn't find anything good so we went home empty handed. A few other kids went back everyday, but I don't think they ever brought back anything to good to eat.

Assorted goods sold beachside.

We visited more tide pools at Puerto Cayo, an hour and half away via bus, which was superior to the other tide pools due to the large population of lizards that was present. Unfortunately we did not spend much time here.

If you're not tired of tide pools by this point, I sure am. We visited another tidal area in a town called
MontaƱita. This is a surfer/tourist/gringo destination, so you may have heard of it (probably not). While I am sick of tide pools at this point, I suppose they make for a pretty picture.

Back at the hostel, there was a "museum" of sorts with archaeological artifacts and whatnot. Skulls and stuff. The owner of the hostel apparently funded some digs and is quite the archaeology aficionado. At the entrance there is a painted picture of him holding a skull in Indiana Jones garb. I wish I took a picture of it. This museum was located in a mangrove area with its own healthy population of lizards. 

Our last trip together was a walk through tropical dry forest at Machalilla National Park, which was teeming with lizards.

So while we're on the topic of lizards here are all the lizards I saw on this trip
  • Phyllodactylus reiisi -------------(Gecko)
  • Ameiva sp------------------------(Whiptail)
  • Microlophus occipitalis-------------(Lava Lizard)
  • Stenocercus iridiscens---------------(Some kind of lizard)
  • Gonatodes caudiscutatus-------------(Pretty gecko)

Unfortunately, all the lizards in the world wouldn't make up for being at the beach. Also, to be completely biased, subjective, and unreasonable, these were not the coolest of lizards. I just didn't like the way they look. Except G. caudiscutatus. That was a pretty lizard, but I didn't find too many of them.

What did make up for the subpar lizards and beach was the family that ran the place. They were really welcoming and had two kids aged 4 (boy) and 9 (girl). I think I piqued their interest by always carrying a net and my lizard noosing stick. They said they would tell me whenever they saw a lizard. One day the girl gave me a poem clipped out of a newspaper about lizards.

Their father played guitar and sang really well. What nice people. I wish I got a picture with the kids. I like kids more than the beach. And dogs. But that's for another time.

Well, that's enough of the a recap for now. I don't think I'll ever like the beach. Maybe I'll like the Caribbean, where there are lots of anoles. Who knows? Until next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment