On Tuesday we left the heat, humidity and mosquitoes of Guayaquil for the, eh… heat, humidity and mosquitoes of Puerto Lopez…at least here there is a cooling sea breeze. We are staying in a cabin (part of a larger hostel) on the edge of town, just across the road from the beach.
Puerto Lopez is a dusty and chaotic town, part resort for Ecuadorian families and surfers and nature lovers from around the world, and part functioning fishing port. The amazing Frigate birds spend most of the day hanging around the port, waiting to grab a fish or two from the incoming fishing boats. The beach is covered in small crabs, scuttling away and burrowing into the sand as soon as they feel the humans (and many dogs!) getting too close.
Further north from our hostel, there are some posh looking resorts, each with its own slightly hippy, alternative eco vibe. If you head inland just one street, things look very different: half-finished houses, sparsely furnished, with many seeming to run ad-hoc shops or cafes from the front rooms. It’s hard to know if crime is a problem here, but it certainly feels a helluva lot more relaxed than Guayaquil and there is almost no police/security presence here.
Meanwhile, nationwide municipal elections are happening soon and the campaigners of Puerto Lopez have taken the loudest approach we’ve witnessed so far, blaring out music and recorded messages from pick-up trucks and moto-taxis. You get the feeling that it’s a tight race between the various candidates.