1.5667° S, 80.8167° W
Puerto Lopez was never a planned place to go, It all stemmed from that drunken night out in Quito where we met Dr. Roberto and his wife Bernes. In the process of getting totally shit-faced and after only an hour or so of meeting them we had agreed to go and visit them and they could show us round the town. They told us about a hotel that's always taking on volunteers so when we arrived we went to check it out and the owner Maria said she could host us for a week or so in return of helping out at breakfast and doing some light gardening. Sweet.
That night we went for food with Roberto and Bernes, then headed to a local bar for salsa night and some beers. We were introduced to a few of the locals and even gave salsa a go. Considering the dancing I'm used to involves a drunken stumble whist throwing upper limbs around, then I'd say the salsa went pretty well. Although, a good ass definitely comes in to play here and unfortunately mine is still small enough to comfortably fit in my 9 year old sisters car seat. Roberto and Bernes really made us welcome to Puerto Lopez and I could tell it was going to be a good week.
National park Los Frailes Free
A few days later they picked me and Jord up and drove us to National Park Los Frailes beach where we went snorkelling and had a picnic. The beach has a few turtle nests which are protected by the national park and cordoned off, we also saw some starfish, stingrays and listened to coral (who knew coral made such a cool sound). Roberto and Bernes are both keen divers and invited us to try and dive with the manta rays the following day, it was for a cheap price because they were good friends of the dive school. We went to chat with them and the outcome was deciding to do our open water diving course. Normally this involves 1 day watching videos followed by a pool session and 2 days in the sea for cheapest $380. A few porkies may have been told but we managed to deal at 3 days diving in the sea for $250. That's the equivalent to £160 !!!! fekkin killer deal my friend. We slotted on the course with 17 Isralie guys and a Irish girl called Katie and spent the next 4 hours watching dive information videos to then join them again in 2 days.
That night we went back to the hotel to give a hand in the bar to Maria's son, Andreas. Andreas loved his deep house and techno music and also worked promoting 'Lost Beach Club' in the close by crazy party town of Montiñita. He was closing up the bar to head over there, and after spending all night telling us how is was in the number 7th best beach club in the world...aaand with free entry I guess it would of been rude not to go.
Shit got crazy. Real crazy and it was great. It reminded me a little of Magaluf apart from it was located in a surf town. Lost beach club was massive. The entrance was "the cave" as Andreas called it. A dark room decorated with hanging leaves and vines. Outside you had a massive smoking area that also transformed in to the main stage and full of chill out tables and chairs. The stage looked out on to the beach where they hold monthly festivals and then above it was the terrace that looked over the whole beach. I can see why he raved on about it so much, it was a pretty cool venue and even though it was low season on a Monday night, the club was busy enough to stay open until 7am.
The following day I prepared for my first dive as we headed out to sea with the dive school. As everyone began to put their equipment together I realised this was the point I probably should have gone to the pool session, but it was too late for that now. A few of the guys helped me assemble everything and get in to my jacket so I was ready to dive. I've always thought that scuba gear is the perfect outfit for a super hero, all it was missing was a cape but that didn't matter, I felt fucking mint. I rolled in backwards off the boat and me and Jord began our dive with our instructor. He showed us loads of things. First was this funky looking round thing (like an urchin but without spikes) that suctioned itself to my hand, then an octopus that changed colour then inked, and heaps loads of other fish. We also saw at least one humpback whale per boat trip as it was mating season. Unfortunately, after the first day we hardly saw any more wildlife as the visibility was really bad. Because the dive school only had one licence it meant we couldn't dive in the better spots with turtles and mantas. So I guess you get what you pay for.