I forgot one most interesting tidbit. The difference between motels and hotels here is that motels rent by the hour and have very high concrete fences around them. Place like the Sexy Inn, Oh Poalo… you get the idea. There are many of them.. We passed about 4 on our way to a party yesterday.
But again, I digress. Yesterday we slept in and then took a short 20 minute drive to Montecristi. It is a little town in the foothills where they are best known for making wonderful Panama Hats. Which have always been made in Ecuador. Panama took them to the 1855 Worlds Fair in Paris and everyone has assumed, since then, that they are made in Panama. Not so. The majority are now made in Cuenca, where we are going tomorrow, but Montecristi has the true artists. We went to a little Italian restaurant for lunch and almost got kicked out thanks to Howard and Tanya. They didn’t get what they ordered, and no one, including the owner/cook spoke English. He (the owner/cook) was highly offendedwhen they tried to explain. We think he thought they didnt like the food. They just wanted it with the camarones (shrimp) they thought they were getting. Gar and I just kept eating our lunch. After about 1/2 hour we asked for the bill, but the owner came out with new food for Howard and Tanya. Not what they wanted but it had shrimpso they smiled and ate and he was all happy. Whew! Then we toured a museum… were the only people there. Then went into the little town and did some shopping.
We were 4 hours late for the Carnival party atLinda’s place down the beach about 20 minutes. But it had rained and rained and rained, and so many locals never went to the beach yesterday. When we got there, instead of hundreds of people, there were a couple dozen, plus a dozen or so at Linda’s party of Gringos and Ecuadorians. We bbqd burgers. Gar grilled onions for them…. met some very nice people and got home around 10:30. Tanya and I hit the pool while the guys had some wine.
This morning Tanya and I walked the beach toward town. Sunny, hot, no rain and hundreds of people onthe beach. More like what I expected yesterday. Carnival goes thru Tuesday, so many shops are closed.
We had champagne and fresh squeezed oj for an early Valentine’s treat, then went to lunch at Mr. Frogs (owned by an American with an Ecuadorian wife). Tanya and I got a rose and we had a wonderful lunch/breakfast.
Tomorrow we are leaving for 3 days or so in Cuenca. It is supposed to be very beautiful, but is about a 6-7hour drive to get there, so are leaving fairly early. Howard will probably take his laptop, so if there is time I will update the blog while we are there. Otherwise, not til back here inManta;
Happy Valentines Day to you all!