Ensemble in Ecuador
Day 2 - 4: Puerto Rico
de la Plata
Day 5: Middle of the Word
Day 6 - 11: Ibarra - Festival
Paz y Cultura Para el Mundo
Charm of Cotacachi People
Day 12: Quito
Day 13 - 16: Baños adventure
Jungle at its purest!
Go jump off the bridge
06-17-2009 La Barquita - Sun, Sand and Waves Joanna
We arrived to the town of Puerto Rico a few hours
before midnight. The only impressions we got then were those of a
mysterious and dark place, with the entrance acting as a portal and
taking us from an outside world of dusty and cracked soccer fields to an
enormous bark arc and overbearing and tall palm trees. The next morning
would bring all of our impressions to life.
Awakening to the unexpected were always my favorite
parts of arriving at our destinations by night. I so clearly remembered
feeling the same way 4 years ago in Lozenetz, Bulgaria as I did when we
got to La Barquita, and even our hotel in Guayaquil just a night prior.
We arrived to what we thought was an uncivilized town by the moonlight.
But by daytime, everything came to life.
When we awoke from under our mosquito netting and
peeked out through the door, the atmosphere was unimaginable. The exotic
flora and fauna seemed to be in such peace with itself and with
everything and everyone around it. Breakfast was served in the giant ark
by some of the most hospitable people we encountered. Eggs and bread
rolls- as we would soon learn- were going to be the regular meals of the
morning, but we perceived it as an unexpected surprise.
With stomach’s full and with the laid- back
atmosphere of our new haven, we were ready for a relaxing day on the
beach. Little did we know it was finally time for the long anticipated
surfing lessons that we heard so much about!
We walked under a hut and through a sandy cove, where
we were introduced to Rodrigo, our instructor who introduced himself
with a pep talk that we’ll never forget. In his broken English, he
told us about our soon to become passion. “People spend years surfing,
and the reason that they keep doing it is because after one day, it’s
going to hold a dear place in your heart. I’m going to get everyone up
on the surfboard, and after that, just have fun!” We lined up single
file on the beach and did about an hour of on- land surfing lessons. The
only thing that you could decipher from our camouflaged, sandy bodies
was our smiles.
With sore arms and high hopes, we took off on the
water. One- by- one, each member of our group stood up on the board. For
some, it was a natural calling. For others, it took a few more
determined attempts. But for all, it was an unbelievable and
unforgettable experience. By the end of the day, only a handful of
passionate ones were left. We strapped the board off of our ankles, sat
on the beach and looked over the horizon. Watching the massive white
monsters crashing into each other and watching them wash away our
footprints on the shore, all we could think about was the fact that we
were a part of the ocean now. We rode those waves ...and we left a part
of ourselves behind with La Barquita.
It was another day
in paradise for everyone in Polonia. Everyone was still talking about
horseback riding on the beach and through the Ecuadorian back roads.
Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating with us, so some people
decided to just chill and relax in our comfortable and calming hammocks.
With their newly acquired skill, those who succeeded in surfing decided
to go for round two. Although the waves were not as big as those seen in
Hawaii, getting on top of the surfboard and riding a wave is definitely
a great feeling of excitement and accomplishment. Even with the sun not
present, the beach was still beautiful and awe inspiring. The beach area
had a raw, untamed and exotic feel to it and that’s what made it so
great. Sadly, it was our last night at our hotel so everyone was packing
at night and getting ready for our early departure in the morning.
- Jonathan Krysinski -