After a long working week, the girls and I decided we need a break, a beach break. On Friday after class Anina, Emily and I took a bus down to Atacames, a beach town in Esmeraldas, which is the Afro-ecuadorian providence of Ecuador. The bus ride, of almost 7 hours, was actually the nicest we have taken here. It had super comfy seats that reclined all the way back, and we got snacks and Evan Almighty, a way better movie than the usual action, blood filled movies they usually play on bus rides. It was also a weird bus ride in that we actually got led off the bus when we reached Esmeraldas, the town, to catch a taxi to Atacames, appearantly because the bus drivers were tired and couldn't do the, oh 25 more minutes to Atacames. Weird, although fine with us considering they paid for the taxi and we got a ride straight to the hoppin' nightlife that Atacames had to offer. After checking out the scene and grabbing some late night pizza and the first of the many, and I mean many, jugos de piña that weekend, we crashed at a pretty crappy hostel.
The next morning we went out for a nice breakfast, then moved into Cabañas Bohios, the cutest little cabins ever! They were surrounded by all kinds of flowers and plants (including a chile plant), and they even had a pool and swingset to hang out in. Very cute, and very fun. The rest of the day we spent laying out on the beach (and even napping), swimming, eating tons of BonIce (like ice tickles) and coconut juice, delish! That night I had an Ecuadorian specialty for dinner, ceviche de camaron (shrimp with veggies in a lemony juice) and petacones (fried plantains), pretty much amazing. We then hung out at the various bars on the beaches watching people of all ages dance to all kinds of music each place had to offer.
The next morning we woke up, went to grab breakfast, then went back to the beach for a few hours. We then ate lunch (ginormous jugos de piña and tostadas -which are really grilled chease sandwiches) and headed back to Quito. Our way back however, was a bit more adventurous that we'd thought. We had to take a chiva to Esmeraldas, then a bus to Santo Domingo (we saw very cool palm and banana plantations on the way there), where we waited in line with like 50 others, to catch a bus back to Quito. It still took the same amount of time, and less money, to get back though, which was nice.