We woke up at 10:00 a.m. to take the boat taxi to a city called San Vicente. It was a small boat, which took us quickly across the river to the next town. From San Vicente, we were to find a bus to Canoa. In total it was about a 50- minute commute from Bahia to Canoa.
Arriving in Canoa gave me chills because I was thrilled to embark on the adventure in this new, tiny town. Canoa had a very hippie feel to it, which made me fall in love. The whole city was directly on the beach. I had heard about Canoa through some local friends I had met the previous week. Ironically, five minutes walking into the city I saw them. Actually, it was not that ironic because the town is so small. Anyway, we began looking for somewhere to stay the night, and we found the cutest place to stay. We had to cross a bridge to get to the several bungalows where we would call home for the night. There were hammocks, a pool, and a volleyball court. It was so adorable, and the bungalows were made of bamboo.
After getting settled and a nice pizza lunch, we spent the day soaking up the sun on the beach. We watched the locals in their prime playing soccer, surfing and practicing a Brazilian jiu-jitsu. When the tide of the ocean was low, my friend decided to take all of us to see the caves of Canoa. We had to walk along the beach and hike through some hills to arrive at the caves in the beach. The caves were in the mountains, which surrounded the ocean. There were tons of birds. It was a remarkable site to see and experience, especially with my friend who had story after story to tell me.
We hiked back to the beach when the sun started to set. We admired the sunset on the beach together. Watching the sun set behind the mountains and beach was breathtaking. We decided to part and eat dinner at a local restaurant called Coco Loco. It was a Mexican-based restaurant where everything was cooked in a brick oven. I ordered a caipariña and a pesto dish with cheese, mushrooms, and peppers all melted together in a bowl to put in warm tortillas. Delicious would have been an understatement.
After dinner, we all prettied up and went out to enjoy a night full of dancing and fiesta! That was a night I will never forget. We danced under bungalows on the beach. We danced all types of dance ranging from reggaeton to salsa to bachata. I loved the culture of their dancing, and it was a night full of smiles. When the disco closed, we took a walk on the beach where I saw jellyfish lighting up the water. I had never seen anything so extraordinary, and I did not want the night to end. I had such an incredible night of conversation and dancing.
Canoa is a city I plan on returning to next summer to spend time with my new friends. The life and culture is an extreme difference from Bahia, Ecuador. They live a happy-go-lucky sort of life. My friend from Canoa told me the best thing, “You are your life. You should never be afraid and should erase all fear from your mind. You are like the ocean— beautiful on the outside and complex on the inside.” I totally agree.