19 August 2012

San Lorenzo

I left Manta on a bypass around the city that reconnected with E15 westward along the coast. The Ecuadorian “revolution of the roads” had yet to reach this area and the road was dirt and sand and broken asphalt. The sky darkened and by afternoon it turned cold and began to rain. I wore my rain jacket and the road continued along the coast, rising and falling in the rain over the cliffs and then turning inland the road climbed up into the hills. The climb was long and wet and at the top there was a very busy restaurant and I stopped and was recited a long lunch menu by the proprietor. There was duck on the menu and I ordered it. There were ducks wandering around the property and indeed the duck was good and very fresh. Along with the lunch I was served a complimentary cup of hot apple cider and a shot of white rum. If only lunches were like this across Ecuador, I thought.


There was more riding in the wet and rain and I descended to a desolate stretch of beach at San Lorenzo. The town was a long dirt road that had been turned to mud and there was a single hotel charging $25 a night. I considered camping on the beach but I didn’t see any hidden spot and, not knowing how safe the town was, I returned to the hotel and took a room.

I had never paid so much for a room in Ecuador but there was no choice if I was to remain under my 50km limit for the day. What was most interesting about the room was the poster of a Balthus painting on the wall over the bed. Erotic modern art was not something I expected to find in the hotel of a tiny pueblo on the Ecuadorian coast.
"La Chambre" by Balthus


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