From Canoa South things became much more interesting. There were long expanses of wide beaches, fishing villages, and generally a more prosperous feel. In Puerto Lopez we stopped in a place recommended by Scott and Sheryl called Hosteria Mandala. The owner is an artist from Italy, and he’d built the place over 20 years with lots of creative touches. When the US invaded Iraq he tried to get a protest going in the town. That didn’t gain traction so he made a sign with the word ‘peace’ in about 50 different languages. It seems
that more people use ‘Shalom’ than any other term. He also built 3 huge whale tails as his contribution to the Puerto Lopez peace movement. They’re about 20 feet tall, and almost as wide, smooth, and brightly colored. Many items in the place are made from plywood which he routes out and sands to create texture and color. It’s a bit like looking at a topo map. He’d done this with chairs, tables, toilet seats, and the front gate. Over the garage he’d used fiberglass to create aquaculture tanks where they grew spices used in the restaurant.
In Puerto Lopez we also had a great time watching the fishermen bringing in their catch and selling it to the fish buyer. In the towns there are butchers who sell meat, but if you want to buy fish or shrimp you stop one of the guys driving around on a motorcycle with a cooler full of fish on the back.