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From Mompiche with Love

The garden and kitchen areaBoat ride through the mangrovesDogs in the middle of the mangrovesStranded rusty boatMangrovesSunsetHaving dinner at the shoreFrom Mompiche with LoveThe mysterious guy with the guitar walking half naked through the wavesHis destroyed guitar WaterfallThe water path through the jungleLunch timeGoodbye picture with our lovely hosts Paola and GabrielCookingAlways barefootBoat ride through the mangrovesLéa's birthdayWater path to the waterfallFrom Mompiche with LoveFrom Mompiche with LoveOur chill out area with a lot of hammocks

Mompiche is a totally laid back, cute, little village and surf paradise at the pacific coast of Ecuador. Strucked by a huge earthquake in april 2016, being extremely near to the epicenter, Mompiche is still trying to recover from that. Almost 700 people died and about 27.000 were injured. The people from Mompiche escaped into the mountains, fearing a tsunami.  Thankfully that didn't happen. 

We came to Mompiche to lay back for a while, volunteering and having a nice place to spend Léa's birthday. My main plan was to finally get some surf over there, so we decided to stay for 3 weeks. We volunteered in a hostel, named DMCA (Desde Mompiche con Amor), directly at the beach, runned by Paola and Gabriel, a couple from Argentina. They were extremely welcoming and we felt totally comfortable during the whole stay. Besides normal hostel work, we painted a lot (almost the whole hostel) and did some gardening. 

Unhappily, my surf plans were placed on hold. Besides the fact, that good waves were rare in the first two weeks, I arrived in Mompiche with a fat infection on my elbow, which got bigger and bigger, until my whole underarm was looking like the upper arm. The abscess was lanced and I had to take antibiotics to fight the stubborn bacterias. 

Living in Mompiche was quite a different experience. Besides having no ATM, real hospital, big supermarket and all the stuff we are used to have around, we had to drive 2 hours into the next town to get money or some special food we needed for our vegan cooking, like soy milk. During the night or very early in the morning, there were some weird noises around. Besides streets dogs barking everywhere, we were often disturb by roosters. They didn't sound like normal ones. More like: alcoholic, chain smoking roosters, who are about to throw up! I made other new experiences with animals like vultures (a lot of them) and a sting ray, on which I almost stepped, while surfing. Just one day before, we were told not to walk, but to shuffle through the water, because of these guys stinging you in the foot, which should be quite hurtful. But we also had amicable meetings: with plankton. At night we went into the water to disturb some of these little glowing things. Tons of fun! 

In our free time, we went along or rather through a river and the jungle to a waterfall and made a tour with a boat through the mangroves to an island called Bolívar. 

We really loved Mompiche, having some laid back time, chilling a lot in hammocks, having warm weather, being with friendly and interesting people, being always barefooted and enjoying the sea and the beach. We are really missing it and would always come back if we have the chance to. Thank you Mompiche, thank you Paola and Gabriel letting us spend 3 amazing weeks in your little paradise! 

For the end I have to tell a very weird situation we had with a guy on Léas birthday: 

At midnight before Léas birthday we had a walk on the beach and I surprised her with a little birthday message in the sand and a candle. While sitting on the beach, drinking a beer and smoking, an ecuadorean guy just with jeans on and a guitar in his hand came to us and asked, if he can sing us a song, which he just wrote. We surely agreed by thinking: this fits perfectly to the birthday and our mood being completely alone at night at the beach enjoying a beer. So he started his romantic song being completely passioned about it, with all the elements of feeling the song by heart. He pointed to the sea, looking in the far far away, went on his knees and had his eyes closed. And he was totally serious about all this. After finishing the song, he just said thank you, took a bow and left the scene, while we were speak less about what just happened, looking after him, walking with his guitar over his shoulder and his hair blowing in the wind through the water of the shore. The scenery was like a movie. Suddenly he threw his guitar highly on the beach, ran into the water and let his self fall straight and stiff into the sea. After enjoying the water by letting hisself falling into it very emotionally, he ran on the beach again and let hisself fall in the same style, but backwards in the sand, doing an angel with his arms and his legs. After that, he stood up, went to his guitar, got on his knees and smashed his guitar, as passioned as he was all the time, on the rocks... With my eyes and my mouth wide opened staring at the scene, he passed us again running, waving at us and shouting good bye with a totally friendly voice, not bothering of what just happened. We just looked at us, without being able to say something, but "WHAT THE FUCK!?" 

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