Hello from Las Tunas!
We’ve officially left the lodge in Iyarina where we spent many nights, and we’ve ventured out of the Amazon and to the West Coast! For the last few days in Ecuador, we’ll be staying in a beach house fifty feet from the sand with soft beaches and fruit smoothies. We’ve got one more site visit to go on Friday, but until then, we’re relaxing a bit from our freezer adventures, reflecting on all of the information we’ve absorbed, and having some fun at the beach.
Speaking of the fun we’ve been having, our travels to Manta and Las Tunas yesterday took a… unique turn, to say the least. Our flight was scheduled for 7pm Tuesday night, so we loaded onto our trusty bus and started the 4 hour bus ride to Quito. All was well and good, and we were dozing off, staring out the window at small towns, and reading. Until it started raining.
About an hour and a half outside of Quito, our bus suddenly came to a halt. And so did all of the cars in front of us. We soon discovered that, in the midst of the pouring rain outside of the bus on small, twisty, turny mountain roads, there had been a mudslide. The entire road was covered in a foot of mud with a very new waterfall spouting out of the mountainside above it. As a cherry on top, a tree lay directly in the middle of the road. All jokes aside, it was fascinating to watch the locals carve water paths with shovels to help redirect some of the water. Eventually, some mechanical help arrived and cleared the road, but we were stuck for over an hour.
We just missed our flight, so we ended up driving all night (10 hours) across the country to Las Tunas. I’m not sure my body has ever been in that many positions sleeping, but it felt like advanced yoga on bumpy roads all night. But arriving in Las Tunas in the morning as the sun was rising was incredible. We had a breakfast of toast, eggs, and a fruit smoothie with (of course) black coffee looking right at the Pacific Ocean. Some of us ran into the water after, and it was surprisingly warm for how cloudy the day was. Tonight, we’ll be heading into the town nearby for dinner and shopping, and I can’t wait to explore more of Las Tunas in our last few days here!
See you soon,