Salinas is a beach town of about 60,000 permanent residents that more than doubles during the high season (December to May). On the edge of the malecon (boardwalk) is a comfortable hostal (Spanish spelling) run by American Expat William Taylor.We booked the hostal based on a fair price for a clean room with A/C, wi-fi, hot water, and proximity to the beach and the malecon. Little did we know, the hostal comes with a very nice bonus – a full bar filled with a mixture of expats and locals and run by some really nice people. More bonus: awesome grilled food accompanying your crisp, cold beer, mixed drink, or vino. There’s not many things better than returning from a long day on the beach, in the water, on the buses and in taxis than to take a hot shower, walking 10 steps to a comfortable bar seat and a cold “Club” (one of the local Ecuadorian brews) or a Pilsener. Along with proprietors Will and Wendy, we met Peace Corps volunteer/part-time bartender Stephanie and Marine Biologist/weekend bartender Diana (pics below). And, who could forget the trio of four-legged friends playing and entertaining in the bar. Sole (Stephanie’s dog), Chris, and Cassie were great to have around.
Will is a master on the grill – his Fillet Mignon was awesome – perfectly cooked rare for Yina and medium rare for me. He also had an old stun gun with a fading battery, which he demonstrated as very weak (photo below, against his shoulder) when compared to his new powerful one.
As the Heat/Mavs heated up in game 3, the bar kept filling with mostly expats and a few locals (some friends of Diana). We met Kevin (traveling following a Contractor assignment in Afghanistan), Christian (studying and making sure the bartenders and patrons alike were keeping it real), and a varied assortment of others on the cusp of retirement all gathering to swap stories, drink beer, eat meat, and have a good old time.
Thanks to Stephanie, Will, Diana, Wendy and all the customers at Score Bar and Hostal Aqui. We had a great time and, mark my words, we will be back!