We never really knew what to expect from Ecuador. Before arrival we knew that Ecuador is a small country that grows coffee and cocoa, we also knew it was neither the richest or poorest in South America and that the President was a somewhat radical character (sheltering Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for one). Other than this we knew little about the place so we arrived pretty much without preconceptions.
Thanks to our Spanish course we spent seven weeks in Ecuador in the end, far longer than we’ll spend anywhere else. Also thanks to the Spanish course we were able to live with some of the locals and really get a little more under the skin than we’ll be able to do anywhere else.
Our third week of the travelling classroom was at the Surpacifico Spanish School in Manta. As Chris has been busy sorting through his many photos from the jungle and the Galapagos, it’s Alex back again with an update this time.
Our guide book has just one paragraph about the coastal city of Manta, basically telling you to steer clear as there’s nothing to do. We weren’t expecting much from the week, so have been really pleased as we had a great time.
The city is pretty much as described by the Rough Guide, not much to look at or do in the centre. It’s a major fishing port so lots of boats and some very tasty seafood. The weather was nice, very warm and sunny but not too humid. There is however a lingering smell of sewage (especially on the south side of the city where we were staying), which doesn’t help the place.
However, the Spanish school was excellent and the activities organised, as part of the travelling classroom course we were on, were great fun. The school is run by Manuel, who also owns Montañita school (our 4th and final week on the travelling classroom). He and his wife Rosi were really lovely and welcoming. The school is above their home and we spent the week in and out of the school and relaxing in their garden by the pool.