Ecuador beaches are great. I know because we are just back from a trip to the Ecuador beach, an eleven hour jaunt in a van…trusty Jorge behind the wheel. We trundled off at 4:30 in the morn with our good friends from Telluride, Bob and Barbara Humphrey, heading down…down…down from 7,800 feet here to the sea.
Our journey started with a rise from Cotacachi near Otavalo (see top of Ecuador above Quito ) to Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) near Quito at about 9,300 feet, past our hacienda, Rosaspamba, and then down past the bird sanctuary near Mindo.
It is a great experience to see the landscape change so rapidly from dry mountain valleys to lush cloud forest into semi tropics and then tropical wet lands. As the foliage grows thicker, bananas and coconut palms appear and sweaters are shed as the temperature and humidity rise.
We dropped down to Santa Domingo, rode through numerous dusty and muddy villages to Chone and finally to the sea where we arrived at San Clemente 45 minutes north of Manta.
We were a bit road weary and happy to see the blue of the Pacific.
We were staying at the brand new Palmazul Spa built by a friend of ours, Kjetil Haugan and his wife, Jessica.
Just as we reached the entrance one of the wonderful little Red Moto Taxis zipped by. Honda 50s with a covered back seat!
Actually this shot was taken last November when Palmazul was being built. Its all done now and looks like this.
We immediately hit the beach. Here is Merri happy! The point in the background is important because that’s land’s end. Thus the road running from San Clemente past the hotel is a dead end…quiet without any commercial traffic.
This is the view from the spa to the left.
About this time the fisherman who docks his boat in front of the spa returned from his day’s fishing.
Here he is with a catfish along with Merri and our driver, Jorge.
But we were interested in the jumbo shrimp he caught…dinner!
Jumbo is different in Ecuador than in the rest of the world…a better word is huge!
They made dinner…just two per person of these mini lobsters was enough…from the spa’s dining room. How’s this for a view?
Then off to our rooms…a rose at each door. We were in room #9.
What a room…romantic with candles.
The cozy netting.
Cooled by a sea breeze from the open balcony windows.
Actually the spa and restaurant were very important because this is the club house of a project where we are buying some condos. The land is directly across the street…with sea views. This is the land.
It is a good thing we saw it in the raw because next morning the construction began!
We took a walk around to see some of the other homes nearby.
The condos will be about 1,200 spare feet and something like the spa itself…two story, five units or so per building staggered just like here so each double balcony is private with sea views.
After walking the land next morning we headed into town.
There are some rustic places like this
And charming sea food restaurants all over
We headed for a small café in the center of San Clement for lunch. Here it is with Royal Poincianas.
Bob and I had calamari ceviche. Merri and Barbara garlic prawns…$3.50 for me…$4 for the girls!
Here is looking back into town from the café. To the left
And right. Town is simple but clean and nothing much going on except fishing.
We only had a day…a group was coming to Cotacachi so a long walk on the beach, a massage and a sea breeze nap finished us off…plus checking our email. The spa has wireless broadband! The condos get the spa as a club house with its massage room… tennis courts and swimming pool.
So as the sunset we were a bit sad having to leave so soon.
But we’ll be back…because this is now our second home…or third however you want to look at it…our second home at our second home. We bought some condos for sure.
Until next message may all your sunsets be glorious!
Join us this winter or spring at one of our tours and courses are below:
See scenic country side like this.
See this house for sale…unless its gone by the time you arrive.
Sleep here at Palmazul where we will stay during the coastal tour.
If you attend all three courses separately the fees are $1,847. Sign up for all three at only $1,499 here. Save $348. Three course savings.
Three courses for two separately are $2,597. Two on our three course adventure is only $1,999. Save $598. Three courses savings for two.
Meet this shaman for a ceremony on Lake Cuicocha