5 Story Bamboo Mansion
I had been looking into volunteering for a few reasons.
I wanted to stay in one place for a bit longer, I want to learn, give back and live cheaply to ensure I get the maximum time out of my trip.
I applied for a few places and got word back from and American woman who had built her dream bamboo house in a little fishing village on the Coast of Ecuador.
I liked the sound of it, so decided on a whim to go there. I then got other responses from cool places, I had to turn them down for now.
This continent is enormous, you meet so many fascinating people, who tell you their route, but its impossible to do it all in 6 months or so.
So you have to choose.
I decided I needed the beach, and I liked the sound of Sirena when she face timed me to tell me of her plans.
I was on a bus going to Quito with some friends I had met along the way, when I decided just to keep going and get as far as I could to the Coast.
Its so interesting here, you go up and down at altitude and the climate changes accordingly.
It was a long time on the bus, but for some reason its not bothering me at all, I did not expect to bus so much here, but the scenery is spectacular. And there is something about going over the land, you really see the Countryside and feel the distances under you..
I arrived in Mompiche, her directions were, get the bus here and then ask for Sirenas house. Hahaha and thats what I did.
Its a small town, a few cool bars and hostels along the beach and up the one main street. Its a surf town, I had not realised, I thought of my last surf lessons in Oz, the waves were much less scary here.
The tide comes right into the sea front and there are large sandy areas to each side, its uber cool.
I asked someone at a small cafe, and sure enough I got the directions to the biggest bamboo mansion I have ever seen. They told me you can miss it, its huge. It is, all five floors of it.
Sirena was there to welcome me, then we went on to a cocktail and dominoes and it felt like we had known each other for years.
She told me how she had dreamed this house when she was 21. It is totally amazing.
There are no windows or walls really, its like living in a giant tree house, and I have a platform on the 3rd floor where I wake up in the trees to the sounds of the birds and other things I have no idea what.
The house is still a work in progress, but that does not take away from its magnificence.
It may not be everyones cup of tea, its al fresco with Nature, but it is my idea of paradise.
It overlooks the river, and has high trees, some laden with fruit, all around. The dusk time is just jaw dropping, the colours, the noises, always been a favourite time of day for me, it is just wonderful here.
Sirenas longer term vision is that it will get used for Retreats.
Imagine that coiincidence.