Ocho stitches in Montanita, Ecuador!
Five years ago when I was in Montanita for my first visit, there was nothing as far as a place to exercise but at that time, I was getting back into fitness, and I had no real love to step in a gym every few days, like I have now, so band and body weight workouts in my room sufficed back then. Now, I love it. Different gyms, different equipment, cool people, and just knowing when you exit you are feeling great, and travelling and free, again, the 3 things that I personally feel add up to incredible happiness, the recipe of a No Regrets Lifestyle.
Anyways, one morning after another amazing night on Cocktail Alley, Taylor, Olli, and I woke up and took our usual sploosh in the ocean. We had bounced around a few different Montanita hostels and mini "hotels" to find a good priced one that was cool at night. We found a great little hotel behind the church called the Ocean View Hotel.
Great place with a bunk bed, and a big double bed, private bathroom, and daily maid service, which is considered top notch living for Montanita! The hotel was true to its name as well, as our door opened to a path, rock wall and the beach right in front of us.
Our Montanita hotel, Ocean View
Just 500 meters from the busy, crowded section of the beach, there was virtually no one ever outside on our private stretch of sand. At this time in 2013, we paid $30 USD for the room so essentially $10 a person.
We headed to the beach and started kicking around our volleyball that we bought, because of its soft outer shell which is absolutely perfect for kicking with bare feat. With no one on the beach, we could be 50 meters apart and just hammer the ball in the air back and forth from each other. After running around, sweating out our previous night, we decided to dip in the refreshing water again. We really dont give a **** what people think, so there we were, having a laugh and leap frogging each other into the ocean. Seeing how far it actually was to get out to the water as the tide was out, we abandoned the game and started running, for the water. As we were running, with my eyes fixated on the beautiful shine off the curling waves, I heard a big *boof!* and saw a flash of feet in the air, and all of a sudden Taylor had disappeared! As I slowed down I looked back and he was face down in the sand …
Did he trip, or slip or something? Its a completely barren beach … As the very shallow water started to go back out, I noticed a couple foot high, jagged rock, covered in barnacles sitting right next to Taylor. He had a managed to sprint right into probably the only big rock on the whole coast. As I got over to him, fearing the worst, I noticed that he was pretty straight faced and staring at his knee. He removed his hand and washed away the blood to reveal a gash, and a big flap of skin exposing the white of his bone. The kid, tough as nails, looked me in the face and simply exclaimed “dont think Im gonna be surfing today lads!” and laughed it off. Absolute relief knowing that there was no bone or ligament damage.
Our Montanita hotel and coffee shop next to Montanita beach
I gave my little "hermano" a hand and limped him back to the hostel and notified Olli who was Skyping his girl, and his mouth dropped when he saw the state of Taylors knee. We hobbled Tay out to the highway, and jumped in a taxi to the closest “hospital.” After about 10 minutes cruising south on the highway, we pulled into a small, spaced out town, never catching the name and checked Taylor into a clinic. We expected a decent wait as we filled out the paperwork needed but soon after handing it over, they sat Taylor down and stuck a needle in his knee, and started going to work! Not really a spectator sport so I strolled up the street to grab some water and fruit and came back and he was getting all bandaged up, given some meds and ready to roll. Surprising efficiency!
Since we couldn't do much else when returning to Montanita, we all sat at the coffee shop right next to our place, knocked back a few, and Taylor returned to the room, Olli and I went for a workout at the gym. The Surf & Fitness Gym in Montanita is located on the main street, you cant really miss it, sitting above a gift shop with Montanita shirts and hats, where you turn left to go down cocktail alley. Just look for the logo below!
Montanita Surf & Fitness Gym Logo
You can buy a month membership for I think $40, or its about $4 for a drop in. Pretty well equipped (lacking a squat rack) for a small gym in a small surf town. Stroll back along home, and stop at one of the “jugo” spots. A stand, just like the cocktail stands, but they throw together fruits of your choice, milk and ice for a couple bucks and blend it up! Fresh as you can imagine and great for after a lift.
One of the many beauties of Montanita, is the ability to do exactly what you like. On any given night, you can find people going out for a couple mojitos and you can see where the night will take you, or like in our case, you can wait until the weekend, and with the addition of a little gym in the town, there's no excuse to stray from your fitness routine! Plus ... walking out to the beach after a good sweat ... trust me ... nothing better.