We awoke well rested in our new Hostel Maxima after an extremely tiring day of travelling from the scenic ‘cloud’ forest to the lively town of Puerto Lopez on the Pacific coast. After a hearty breakfast, which was collected from the local markets, the group split up for the organisation of different tasks.
Firstly was the booking of the much anticipated whale watching which the group will enjoy later on next week. Along with this was the hugely important task of collecting building materials needed for the project work at the local school. The group worked alongside Pastor, our project host, and were successful in their efforts. Finally, accommodation was booked for the final days of the trip and the accommodation managers exceeded themselves by finding us a luxurious hotel in which the group can fully relax in on the days of rest and relaxation.
In reward for the groups efficient efforts, we were treated to an afternoon of souvenir shopping, beach walking and best of all, we joined with locals to watch the World Cup semi-final of Holland vs Argentina. An electric atmosphere of passionate South Americans, combined with our own Northern Irish banter resulted in a scene like no other.
After the match, the group made the short journey to the outskirts of Puerto Lopez to the school at which the project begins. We met with some of the school kids who immediately came across as extremely welcoming and even helped us unload our bags before some more football was played. After a delicious meal very kindly made by Pastor’s wife and family, the group retreated to their tents in the school class room, for an early night before our first day of building.
Feels like we’re on the road to home.