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Got up and had a small and ropey breakfast in the hotel before catching a bus to Montechristi for hat buying. Got dropped on a random road and managed to somehow find our way to the church where we knew of a good hat shop. Compared lots with some in another shop and ended up buying a ‘Super Fino’ for $86 (instead of the $250 she originally suggested). We were probably still ripped off but J felt very special in his new sombrero and you just can’t put a price on that.

Back at the hotel in Manta we packed up our stuff and grabbed another bus to an ‘eco-town’ called Bahia. It didn’t appear particularly ‘eco’ but it was nice enough. Went into the first and only hotel in town to inquire about a room. After J was shown a dusty room with half a collapsed bed in it we decided to move on and try to find somewhere else. We found quirky little place with a real bed for cheaper. Bought a bus ticket for tomorrow to Quito and went to the port for a beer.

Here we discovered many interesting people, mostly old white dudes from England, America and Australia with their boats docked in the bay. We eves-dropped for a few hours until it all got too much for us and we had to find out what all these people were doing here. We got talking to the American guy who owned the restaurant/bar and he told us a rather long-winded version of how he met his Colombian wife and sailed here and fell in love with the town (not entirely sure how-it’s a pretty average Ecuadorian town) and built this port and lived happily ever after. It was quite interesting when he started explaining the difficulties of starting up a business in Ecuador and the ‘ways to get round them’ but then he ruined it by asking what part of Australia we were from. Stifling sighs we left only to return, begrudgingly, for dinner (the food did look awesome). The American then completely destroyed his reputation with us by jokingly calling J a ‘wanker’ for ordering a burger, in a horrendously annoying Alabama accent.

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