We were fortunate to meet a lovely family who had been living in the Puerto Lopez area for almost 2 years. The Creasey’s took us under their wing and proved that Americans, especially those from the South, are a wonderful giving people. We had the opportunity to become familiar with Scott from his involvement in one of Ecuador forums that we were monitoring before our move. As we did more research on areas that would be of interest to us Puerto Lopez popped up over and over again as a place that may be worth a look. We contacted Scott who was very gracious with his knowledge and answered numerous emails on our multitude of questions. For the weeks that we spend in Puerto Lopez we were treated with the finest in Southern Hospitality by this gracious family. We were sad to leave the area. But our travels will always take us back to Puerto Lopez for all the wonderful things it has to offer especially to visit our new friends Scott, Pat and Jeremy.
Now to the food — how wonderful to have fresh fish every day sometimes twice a day — yes, I am fish deprived and I admit to being in love totally with fish and seafood of almost any type – I found Puerto Lopez to be my Seafood Heaven — We located several places that fulfilled my seafood fantasy! We loved going for lunch to Centro. It’s the local market that sits about 4 blocks from the malecon. It had a wonderful outside eating area where several vendors served lunch during the day. The meal consisted of soup, a main course and a glass of juice. Most days it was either shrimp soup or a fish soup, made with mani ((peanut) sauce which was outstanding. The main consisted of fried or sauteed fresh fish, rice and a salad, some days they even had congrejo (crab). The cost was $2 each after they got to know us it was $2.50 before. What a treat!!! Then we must talk about Mayflower Restaurant what a find… Joe would order the Fried Shrimp with papas fritas and I would get fish in mani sauce a peanut sauce used by the cooks of Manibi province.
We found the people to be very friendly some spoke a bit of English most did not. We have never really had an issue not speaking the language. It seems if you are kind and smile a lot people are just so easy to deal with no matter what the language. We met Jhony the MotoTaxi driver who spoke a bit of English and took us on hair-raising rides around the countryside. The beautiful management and staff of the Hotel Pacifico, especially Sofia who made so many phone calls and walked me all around town looking at properties and talking to people on our behalf.
We stayed at the Pacifico for well over a month and they took care of us like family – they even made me oregano tea and a very simple chicken broth one evening when I had suffered with a stomach issue that day. Our driver Hector who chauffeured us back and forth to Manta. Senior Carlos who washed our clothes and smiled every time he saw us. We also met the owners of the Whale Cafe who are from the US and have been living in Ecuador for many years, we spent many an evening drinking vino tinto and enjoying their vegetarian pizza or the best Spicy Thai Noodle dish I have ever had. They also have a book exchange so bring your books if you plan on eating there.
I can’t say that I learned how to cook any of these wonderful dishes but both Joe and I truly enjoyed each morsel and will be back in Lopez soon to help ourselves to this culinary treat!!
On March 31 we flew out of Quito to Manta with a two-hour taxi ride to Puerto Lopez – it was a beautiful day for traveling and we had an excellent flight that lasted a bit over 30 minutes. Arriving in Puerto Lopez we were taken directly to our hostel Itapoa – located directly across the street from the beach. What a simple little town with it’s brightly painted houses lining the ocean road.
Over the next several weeks we would walk the town taking in all that this quaint town had to offer. The malecon (boardwalk to those of us from the North) is flanked by little banboo huts with palm frond roofs, the floors are sand and the furniture is sling backed chairs, bamboo tables and hammocks. They serve batidos which are milk shakes made with fresh fruit of your choice like papaya, avocado, fresa (strawberry) mora (blackberries), banana, tree tomato and many other tropical fruits. These places which number around 20 also serve cocktails like pina coladas, coco loco and mojito cubano as well as the “Big Beer” a huge 22 oz. frosty cold Pilsener that Joe took as his favorite.
We spent many sunsets sitting at Jimmy’s or Ivan’s on the malecon cheering on the end of the day with our drink of choice. What a relaxing place this Puerto Lopez is.