Writing brings pleasure, but doing so from a beach-side hammock makes the hobby blissful.
This tiny beach village is where we find ourselves after our first three, hectic weeks in Ecuador.
It’s no mistake, either. This tropical locale became a destination soon after Pessa and I read about it in the guidebook months ago.
It’s perfect timing, also. After two weeks of Spanish classes in Quito and a week with the reforestation project in Bahia de Caraquez, we needed this rest.
It’s great accommodations, too. If our hostel, “Hotel Bambu” were in a developed country, it would be a swanky, high-rise resort complex. Thankfully, however, it’s in a third-world country, and a room is $13 per night.
Hotel Bambu sits on prime real estate, bordered by the ocean to the west, Canoa’s dirt main street to the south and a lagoon to the north. The restaurant-bar overlooks the ocean and shares its sand floor with palm trees and other tropical fauna. Small guesthouses are clustered behind the restaurant on a series of trails.
Our appreciation of this picturesque, tranquilo place was increased after the trying work we did that Friday. We had joined Planet Drum for the reforestation work, but our work that day had nothing to do with trees.
The task was moving the disorganized Planet Drum house in scorching heat. The move strained on everyone’s nerves.
In Canoa, after we scrubbed off the dust, grime and foul moods we had all accumulated during the move, we grabbed some Pilsners and some seats amid the palms.
A sliver of a silver moon poked through the palms as Laura spoke sweetly about appreciating where we are. About three weeks prior we were bundled in thick jackets under a full, silver moon on another continent.
Harold, a friend of Planet Drum’s, warned the girls (Laura, Suzan, Paress and Jen) about the machismo coming from the trolling boys in Canoa.
At a discothèque Friday night, the boys stared at the mild dancing gringas as if they were ready to take it all off at a strip club. Their eyes were bulging and full of intent. Down, boys!
Come Saturday night, however, those swine apparently didn’t stay down.
A rumor circulating Sunday said a gringo man and his Argentine girlfriend were wasted drunk as they exited a sea-side bar late Saturday night.
The couple stumbled to the dark beach; they were followed out by five Ecuadorian boys.
Seemingly from an excerpt from Hunter S. Thompson “Hells Angels,” the Ecuadorian boys supposedly tied up the gringo and raped the Argentine woman.
First: How awful — if true.
Secondly: Pessa and I hung out at a similar location the night before – albeit much earlier and much more sober. Scary — if true.
Third: After thinking about “Hells Angels,” my imagination ran to how the Good Doctor would report this story out. With a cigarette roach clip in his mouth and a wide sunhat atop his head, HST would probably write about how the story’s details, from what I could tell, were obtuse. He would then likely consume some sort of substance, and his writing would meander into how the story seemed plausible based on the boys’ intent faces on Friday night.
Then, after another pause for another controlled substance, he wouldn’t firmly say if he believed it or not, and would be critical of reporters´use of “apparently” and “supposedly,” calling them a shield and sensational.
Apparently, I might have left my reporting gig in the U.S., but it hasn’t left me.
When nature calls
Sunday’s plan was to wake early, beat the incoming tide and visit a cave set into the soaring bluffs north of Canoa. But the tide was faster than us.
Instead, Pessa collected sea shells; I tried to meditate.
My mind wandered, and I tried to fight back. I tried to tell my “big brain,” as Kurt Vonnegut would say, to breathe and focus on the microscopic snails which were uncovered with each wave.
The meditation helped for a bit – I think – but then another type of nature called.
That cheap burger I ate at the Surf Shack entered my thoughts, saying – shouting, really – “I’m coming out in a stream.”
So much for meditating, I guess.
Walking with a pinched rear, I spotted the quickness of a baby sand crab that deftly blended into the surface. … At least I’ve got another image for my next meditation session.
After mentioning other favorite writers, we’ll conclude Canoa in the spirit of the prose of Ernest Hemingway.
…As I write my hammock slowly sways.
Pessa examines her newly discovered shells.
We are lazy and pass the afternoon without stress or strain.
The only sounds breaking this bliss are a few croaks from a frog. …