Mompiche has been described on a few websites as being one of the best beaches in Ecuador, so we were excited to come check it out. The beach itself is quite pretty. At low tide it is very wide. The waves break perfectly in nice long rows. The water is blue and clear and there isn’t much trash. However, the town isn’t very nice. It caters to the backpacking surfer crowd with small hostals and bamboo built beach bars. But it doesn’t have the friendly, laid back vibe that many surfer towns do. The town is still small and very rustic, none of the streets are paved, and there are just a handful of tiendas and restaurants.
It didn’t take us very long to figure out that this is not the place for us. We have enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. The boys have dug holes, played in the sand, chased the chickens, and played with their toys on the porch. I’ve gotten to do some school with them and sit in the hammock swing and read. Joaquin has been able to play his video games in peace and has even made the trek to town on his own. Israel has gotten to enjoy being on the beach. We have all enjoyed the long walk down the beach to and from town as well as playing cards on the porch. I should have brought more games though.
Tomorrow we’re off to Canoa, just for the night, to break up a long day of travel into two shorter ones. Canoa is supposed to be another great beach town, but it was recently hit hard by an earthquake. It is a little more than halfway to our next destination, which is Manta.
We plan on staying in Manta for at least 2 weeks while we do a Workaway. I’m pretty excited to finally try Workaway. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, I’ll describe it. Workaway is a volunteer website where you can exchange a few hours of work each day for lodging and sometimes meals too. There are places all over the world looking for different kinds of help. The work can be in small hotels, on farms, teaching, childcare, building, website design, translation, or pretty much anything. This is an excellent way for us to contribute to the local community, get to know local people, and have the kids really see how others live. And of course there’s the added benefit of reducing our expenses.
The most exciting thing for me is that our first workaway will be teaching swimming at a nonprofit learn to swim program for local children. Hopefully the weather will be warmer there than it is here. The temperature has been in the 70s and windy and we haven’t seen the sun once. This is definitely not swimming weather!