Puerto Cayo is a small, sleepy fishing village on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. It is just west of Jipijapa (hippy hoppa) and between Manta and Puerto Lopez. The house we stayed at was two blocks up from the beach. Our first morning there we decided to spend on the beach. Miss P slept in so we didn’t make it out until around 10 am. I was concerned the beach may be busy but there was no need to fear. It seemed the only people on the beach, and there were only a few, were fishermen and a couple cops patrolling.
The beach was nice, except some litter in the area just before the sand became moist and packed. I was rather unsettled by the amount of syringes I saw. I’m not sure if they were from local medical trash or illegal drug paraphernalia. Either way, I dint want to find any needles with my feet. We found that despite the many signs discouraging dumping trash it was a common and unfortunate occurrence.
We spent the rest of the morning playing in the waves. Miss P squealed with delight as they crashed against her legs. She also enjoyed digging in the sand with her fingers. She’s quite the opposite of her sister who has always had a dislike for dirt (and sand). Much to my dismay she also tried eating the sand and rubbing it in her eyes. I had to fight the urge to keep her completely away from the sand and allow her to explore the world, but I am the one that will have to change that sand-filled diaper soon enough.
There were several cabaña restaurants lining the beach and we frequented those during our stay. I brought food to cook but found the desire to dine on fresh seafood outweighed my desire to cook (or even throw together a few sandwiches). We sampled the ceviche (calamari being my favorite), fried seafood rice (calamari being Cory’s favorite), and pescado (fish) dishes (apanado/breaded and fried being Miss E’s favorite, though she thought it was chicken, and al ajillo/in garlic sauce was my favorite). The dishes were served with chifles or tostones (thin and thick fried green plantains, respectively). We even went out for breakfast one morning and sampled the local cabaña’s 3 breakfast dishes, two of which featured bolones, a large, round fried cake made of mashed cooked green plantains with queso fresco that is fried. Of course, I forgot a photo, but it was quite delicious served alongside fish in a pepper and onion sauce.
We went to my father’s friend’s hotel (Los Sueños del Mar) the same evening to get some wi Fi and we watched the sunset over the ocean. Miss E enjoyed playing with the sweet hotel kitty and swinging in the hammocks. On the drive to the hotel I was struck by the simple houses we passed. I can’t fathom how poor some of these people must be, but then I thought of how rich they were in their landscape, the seaside, and that perhaps the life of simplicity truly was a richer, more fulfilled life.
And a bit more of the town: