After Quito we fly to Manta, leaving the high altitude for the Pacific coast. There is nothing to do in Manta, so we drive south to Puerto Lopez, a "ramshackle town" as The Lonely Planet describes it. We are here because we want to go to Isla de la Plata ("the poor man's Galapagos" as TLP says) but it turns out the expedition to the island would be difficult and long. That night we go to a restaurant recommended by some Americans that is high up in a lodge. The view is fantastic. The bugs continue to annoy us.
Instead of Isla de la Plata we go to Salango, a small fishing village, the next day. The taxi driver takes us to his cousin for a tour of the island but there aren't enough people that day to make it profitable. I sit in a hammock under a tarp and watch the waves roll in and out. It's too hot and humid. Fishing vessels abound. David is restless and goes for a walk after dealing with a lady who wants to give us a tour with her son's boat. She insists. But wants too much for it. We pass and finally she leaves us alone. After a long time I hear David calling my name. He's in a truck, coming to fetch me.
He found a restaurant whose owner is a Canadian named Melody. It's cooler inside and the food is good. Then her husband gives us a tour of Salango island where we see the "famous" blue-footed boobies (which are the reason we came to this country), frigate birds, pelicans. Many of each on the rocks, in the water. The tiny power boat shakes more than I like it. We wear orange safety vests. The sailors assure me it's fine. Upon our return to land I call the taxi driver to take us back to our hotel in Puerto Lopez. The hotel is good, facing the ocean. We hear the waves all night. We see the blue waters all day. I spend the next day at the pool, playing cards, reading.
Samai Lodge sounds wonderful. Can't wait to get there.