By Bradley Rehak – Guest blogger, studying in Quito, Ecuador
I finally got my chance to go to the beach. It's something I've been awaiting a long time, so let me just get to the juicy details.
We arrived in Canoa, on the western coast of Ecuador, early in the morning, and so had to wait around until checkout in order to secure rooms. But then we went immediately to a very lightly populated beach to lay around for the afternoon. There were many tent-shelters set up so we rented one for the day for a couple of dollars, then commenced sleeping. Which as anyone who has ever been to the beach will tell you, is a bad idea. We relaxed for a few hours, intermittently entertaining ourselves with swimming in the surprisingly warm water, attempting to body surf (at which we all failed), and inventing games (me) such as Throw the Little Sandstone Rocks at the Big Sandstone Rock from a Large Distance and Try to Break Them. Then we napped some more before our Big Date:
Happy Hour! The bar at our hostel had two for one drinks, so we got right down to it. This was followed by an invigorating game of beer pong, and the not surprising trip later to a local disco. Over that time we met many Ecuadorians who were eager to join our group, and practiced quite a bit of Spanish. However, the day led to quite predictable results:
Sunburn! You may remember that I noted my first week in Quito how powerful the sun was. It was even more so at the beach. We all paid dearly for our naps in the sun, as the four of us awoke to matching burns on our stomachs and backs. And a bit of pain. Our stay was not to be wasted, so we once again sought shelter beneath a tent on the beach, and spent the second (and last) day at Canoa watching over people do and enjoy what we wished we were doing. And napping in the shade. The entire ordeal turned out to be quite pleasant, however, and we avoided the concomitant pain of surfing and other such activities while merely enjoying the idea of them. Then it was back to Quito for more school.