Being an Eco-Tourist


Let me tell you, civilized people, that being an eco-tourist is not easy. The first shock is electricity. How many of you have already experienced to live without it? When in the middle of the night you pick through the window, it is so dark that you feel afraid. Most of you have already forgot, if ever knew, how darkness can be so deep.


For the first minutes, hours or days, depending on the person you are, it is pretty difficult. It is like living a new life, learning how to do things differently.


The moment I saw the system used to give us the luxury of a warm bath, I just couldn’t believe it would work. Nonetheless, a few sticks of wood burning below the metal cylinder not only allow us to enjoy that bath after a short while, but to have hot water for more than fifteen consecutive hours.


Then, when you get used to the new conditions and to different gadgets helping you through the same daily routines, you start to see things that at first you could not see: space, silence, unmistakable purity of the air, kilometers and kilometers of beach without a single plastic container… The next step is appreciating the effort of the people who conceived and build a very basic lodge, mainly from available local construction material.


I could understand the difference and the meaning when the next day I visited the busiest part of Macaneta. I couldn’t avoid a cleaning crusade of my own. Someone should see the difference and appreciate the efforts of conservationism. Instead, the naked truth is that eco-tourism (or even simple tourism) doesn’t have the support it should have. Most of the operators sit and wait for better times, or worst. In the case of the lodge I am talking about, the owners wait for the result of negotiations to sell more than 5km of beach to a big hotel chain. Next time, instead of an eco-lodge we will have sophisticated bungalows, electricity and 5km of beach for any Seabell to confirm how people can be so careless and insensitive.