” are you sure they’re not twins?”
This is the comment I have been hearing loads lately.
With my belly rising like an untouched pizza dough, here I am wobbling around town, receiving amused looks, loving wishes and the weirdest old wife’s tales about pregnancy.
In what it seems like no time, I have ballooned to the third trimester and a sudden urge to be on the beach came up from nowhere with an unusual vibrancy.
Timing for a romantic getaway couldn’t be more perfect as our wedding anniversary was also approaching.
So we have decided to make a brief escape to the coast, to a place called Ayampe, giving thus life to the novel concept of babymoon: a honey moon for parents to be.
Ayampe is a small town in the province of Manabi’, ideal stop for surfers, bird watchers and people who like us are looking to chill by the ocean without the distraction of the party life normally associated to surfing spots.
Last year we stayed in a tiny fishing village called Las Tunas, a few minutes’ drive up the road from Ayampe and absolutely loved it. We decided this time to stay in Ayampe as it seemed to be a very popular destination amongst many of the Vilcabamba residents seeking a break on the coast.
A friend here nicknamed this village A-dump-e and it didn’t take us long to understand why…
Unlike Las Tunas’ flat, endless and immaculate beach, this one laid on a stretch where the wash out of plastic and general rubbish from the sea seemed to have been adopted as part of the landscape and remained untouched between the ocean and the beachfront accommodations. The semi decrepit shade huts with flapping grass roofs in need of tender loving care contribuited to its desolate appearence.
This didn’t discourage us, we just wanted to relax, hear the ocean and dip our feet in it. No fuss.
Our accommodation was a cheap simple room on the beach, with trees all around and the roaring sound of the ocean on the doorstep.
Fintan was happy to chill swinging from the hammock with his cold beers, I was thrilled to take walks on the shore along the beach, collecting driftwood, taking pictures and let my mind wonder in the milky haze raised by the sea.
On the first day the sun shone for us and set on the horizon in all its glory starting a peach orange fire in the sky. Unfortunately, past the first day the weather seemed to have been suffering from a personality disorder, where mainly its cloudy, misty, drizzly traits have won over the sunny spells.
The waves were wild, too wild for me to conquer them for a swim so, to mark the day of our 2nd anniversary, we decided to visit the famous beach called Los Frailes, in the Machalilla National Park a short distance away from Ayampe.
What a great idea that was! The beach stretched itself luxuriously in a horse-shoe shape, virgin, clean and serene. The water here displayed a hue of blue inextricably mixed up with calmness.
We lied there in peace, Fintan sleeping, and me attempting to stretch out some yoga poses. We swam with the lighthearted cheer typical of children. I collected some more drift wood, fascinated by the human form those barks and branches where hiding in the intricacy of their shapes. That one swim seemed to have satisfied my desire for the beach. In the silence of that spot, I heard it ticking the ‘beach’ box that for a long time was nagging me.
We would have stayed longer had the weather been more clement to us and helped me tick the ‘suntan’ box but instead we decided to make our way back, to our little nest in the mountains.