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A Beach Vacation You Won't Forget

Actually I never cared for the idea of a beach vacation. Oh, I know that most people love the idea of relaxing in the sun and swimming in the surf. I guess I am just more into exploring a wilderness or even a city as a vacation. Salinas Ecuador changed my mind.

My wife Ana and I were visiting her family in Ecuador. Her father decided to take us to the coast for a beach vacation. After a tour of several coastal cities, we ended up in Salinas, where the five of us stayed for a couple days. The first night we went downtown, which was busy and alive and full of good restaurants. The next day was a day at the beach. I was pleasantly surprised.

The first thing you notice that is different from beaches in other places is that there are people trying to sell you things everywhere. You might think this is annoying. In fact, the vendors would be removed from most beaches in the world. Once you get used to it, though, this part of the local culture is what makes the beaches here so special.

Want a chair? Someone will rent you one for fifty cents. We chose to sit on our towels. I also quickly learned to chase off the jewelry vendors with a glance. Actually they did have some necklaces that Ana would love, and I suppose it could be fun to shop while laying on the beach, but we had been shopping enough already.

Then came the lady with the cold beer in an old cooler. At seventy-five cents per bottle, I couldn't help but buy a couple for me and Ana's father. I told the woman to check back later, and she continued down the beach. I was starting to like this idea of just sitting here and being waited on.

Ana and her step-mother bought some ice-cream when a vendor went by. When I was hungry, I bought some peanuts covered in lime juice. Ana's father told me that this was considered Ecuadorian Viagra, so I handed them to him and flagged down the beer lady.

Ana's brother wanted to try out a jet-ski, and I told him I would try it too. Not being a beach person, and thinking it was expensive, I had never been on one, but this was a vacation. Ana's step-mother went down to the water's edge and after some heavy negotiation, she got us two jet skis for thirty minutes for ten dollars each. We had a blast. It was much more fun than when we were towed around the harbor on the inflatable banana for $2 earlier.

Afterwards, I relaxed again and let the deliveries of food and drink continue. For five dollars, two musicians stopped by and put on our own personal concert for almost thirty minutes. They were actually very good. I was beginning to think that a beach vacation isn't such a bad idea. We came back to the beach the next morning.

Want to brush up on your Spanish before going to Ecuador? Use this link: Free Spanish Lessons

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