Best New Years Eve ever!!!

Manta Travel Blog

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these effigies are everywhere - and they all get burned at midnight - this one is a characature of the Ecuadorian president
New Year's eve started with a surf from 7am - 9.30am with 'Ruben' my surf instructor for the fortnight we are spending here. The waves were pretty poor to be honest but it felt great being in the line up again.

After surfing I walked home, had some breakfast then we went to our spanish class - 4 hour session - one to one!

It was brilliant!

I must admit though, 2 hours in I was loving it, 3 hours in, still doing ok, 3.5 hours in and I plateau'd - my brain couldn't take any more and shut down and I became a mute. Despite a dismal end to the lesson, I noticed for the rest of the day I could understand a little more of what people said and I at least know how to read a bit better now.

After spanish we went back home and chilled out in our host families pool before having a sleep 7-9pm.
fireworks at new years eve

at 10am We went out with Camilla to her traditional Ecuadorian family meal. She had relatives come down from Quito and so there were about 20 of us all celebrating new year with a big meal at midnight!! New Year in Ecuador, and Manta particular, is amazing - people throng the streets for hours and whole families are out and about from babies and infants through to grandparents. There is also a tradition where you make effigies of people or situations from the past - some time celebrities and sometimes family members. Ecuadorians spend days making these effigies and there is a prize for the best. However, no matter how good they are they all get burned at new year as a symbol of forgetting the past and moving on.
effigies were on the streets for days before new years eve
And so what happens is at midnight everywhere in the city there are fires with these effigies burning and fireworks and bombs(!) - fish bombs from the trawlers so there are big bangs every where - it's all very amazing and a huge cultural change from being in england.

After the celebrations and the meal we stayed and talked to Camilla's family for a bit - I understood way more than I did the previous night so felt like the lesson must have gone well! - and then we went out in Manta to the bars and clubs. We ended up having a drink in one which was made into the shape of a boat and, so it turned out, run by rock fan - all sorts of classic tunes playing on the sound system - metallica, ac dc, led zeppelin. we talked to him for a time and also a very drunk but happy Venezualan living in Manta. They both thought lou was beautiful and the bar man asked if she had a sister! We went home at 4am and people were still out in the street throwing fireworks, dancing, singing, laughing, it was just such a good night.
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these effigies are everywhere - an…
these effigies are everywhere - a…
fireworks at new years eve
fireworks at new years eve
effigies were on the streets for d…
effigies were on the streets for …
people thronging the streets on th…
people thronging the streets on t…
people are so into it! - these are…
people are so into it! - these ar…
bombfires everywhere in the streets
bombfires everywhere in the streets
looks war torn eh?
looks war torn eh?
Burning effigies and fireworks at…
photo by: Paulovic