Hola Olon, the perspective from dos degenerates (aka Nick and Maria from Canada and England)
Instead of making a straight course to Olon, we decided to take in some other stops en route and checked out a village we had read about in the guide books. Canoa is described as a peaceful and quiet surf town, which is spot on. When we pitched up at 8pm at the Coconut Hotel, we felt like we were crashing someone's family home as the vibe was so serene and relaxed. We were shown to our room right on the beach with our own private hammock out front and palm trees lining our path to the surf... WOW! We stayed for 2 days where we got to know all the guests and volunteers as well as the two adorable pet dogs. It was the perfect intro to Ecuadorian beach bum life.
From Canoa to Olon it was a slightly shorter trip but it couldn't pass soon enough. We were so stoked to reach our base with Outdoor Ecuador, make some friends and settle in. We rolled into Olon at about 4pm, the day still hot and sticky. The first task - eat. We dove into the first restaurant we passed and discovered giant burgers for $3.50 - freshly made rolls too, a real bargain. After our tummies were happy again, we went to meet the crew at Outdoor Ecuador. Everyone was hanging out on the front steps waiting for us, where we received a warm welcome like old friends and got a tour around. Immediately we both knew we would be more than happy here for the next little while.
Our first impressions were ones of wonder, however their first impressions of us...not quite... Nick snapped one of their surfboards in half on the first wave of his first surf. Credit to them, they couldn't have been more relaxed or kind about it, everyone had a good laugh and told him not to worry, even though he couldn't help but feel mortified.
This is a joke that will surely last all season. Rampo tablas - "I break boards" was Nick's first Spanish sentence.
Our first impressions of Olon is that this is a beautiful town with a really sleepy, easygoing vibe. Everyone returns your smile in the street and says hola, making you feel like a local within days. This is helped when you start to recognize familiar faces in the lineup and on the street after being in town less than a week. No bad vibes here!
Stay tuned to hear more about the school, our Spanish classes and surfing!
Ahhhh PD: would you like to watch our surf lesson?