While my life plans don’t have me pulling up stakes in Canada and moving anywhere at this time, I did contemplate the: What if…?
While walking along the beach to Canoa yesterday I considered what it would be like to live in or around Canoa. There are lots of small apartments to be had with longer term rentals available for between $200 – $600 per month ( of course you get what you pay for, the more you spend the nicer the digs). If you want to buy, you can purchase a small Ecuadorian style house in San Vicente for $15,000 or the more preferred (for me) American style house or condo starting around $60,000 and going up from there. $150,000 gets you a brand new house / condo on the beach in a gated complex. For $80,000 you can buy a lot and get a nice house built. Heck, if you want, you can even buy a 4 story partially completed hotel in Canoa for less than $100,000 – OK so it needs a tad bit of work – but just saying…
What I would not come back for is the Canoa entertainment and nightlife. While the weekdays are pretty laid back , during the weekends the people show up in mass and the streets are crowded with people, vendors, vehicles and you guessed it, even more dogs. On the beach you can rent a sun shade cabana, buy fresh made on the spot fruit baditos (like a fruit smoothie), beer, food, hats, souvenirs, etc. You can go surfing, kayaking, parasailing, horseback riding, swimming in the surf or sunbathing on the beach.
On the weekend and at night, the music starts and it is loud. Now while my preference for music is Country, I enjoy good Latin / Spanish music as much as the next guy. This is however not the type of music (term I use lightly) that is played here. Picture if you will (you really need to see and hear to get the full impact) two restaurant / bar style Cabanas side by side each with four or five speaker the size of a small car. Some type of “metal/rock/Reggie” music is played with each Cabana bar playing different songs (same type), speakers aimed at each other, each trying to outblast the other by turning up the volume as high as it will go. I swear, they take up enough power for the lights to dim in Canoa. To my untrained musical ear all that can be heard is the thump! thump! thump! of bass sounds with unintelligible words in no known language. I am entertained by this music for approximately one kilometre of the 1 1/2 km walk back yo the Sundown Inn from Canoa.
On the big plus side, the community is laid back, the people are friendly and the beach is fantastic. Another big plus is the cost of the local food, fresh fruit, vegetable, seafood, etc. I stopped at a Cabana for lunch yesterday and had a great chicken club type sandwich with salad and a double size pinacolada for less than five bucks.
So to answer the question, would I live in Canoa? Probably not, would I come back – most definitely.
I had a request to fill you the readers in on where I am staying and what it is like. The Sundown Inn is approximately 1.5 Kms south of the town of Canoa. It has approximately twelve room each with a private bathroom, most a rooms have a balcony facing the ocean and there is usually hot water. There is a common room and kitchen that can be used by the guests or for $7/day you can get breakfast and lunch. Individual or group Spanish lessons can be arranged. For accommodation, two meals a day and Spanish lessons I have paid around $800 For the month. While the Sundown Inn is a bit rundown, it is generally kept clean and as I tell others, “it is what it is”, my rating is two stars and I am fine with that. Not for everyone, but I have enjoyed my stay here in Canoa and at the Sundown Inn which is quickly coming to an end.