We’ve been on the Ecuadorian coast for over a week now. Someone suggested I put a map on the blog. This is my first ever attempt at doing something like this. I wish I was more of a computer geek!
Our first stop was in Bahia de Caraquez – a huge
The heat and humidity was a shock to our bodies. Swinging in the hammack chair, I let my foot scrape against the concrete to scratch the intense burning itch from mosquito bites clustered on the side of my foot.
But the seafood was the freshest I’ve eaten. So much good shrimp, fish, octopus. The prices are great for fresh seafood, but most entrees are double what were paying in Quito.
We took a day trip to Canoa where Steve rented the right to sit in a chaise in the shade under a beach tent and still got sunburned.
A young man at the restaurant where we ate lunch was anxious to talk with us and asked questions about wages and life in the USA. He said Ecuadorians work all day 10-12 hours for $25. The government provides health care.
I found a great beach house to rent for a month, but Steve wasn’t keen staying at the coast so we decided to travel and visit a few different places instead. I’ve done a lot of internet research looking for places to stay, and we’ve done more packing and moving. It’s been harder on the budget as well.
Santa Marianita is known for Kite Surfing – and that requires wind, but we felt real relief from the high humidity. The breezes and temperatures felt great! Our room at the Donkey Den Guesthouse, owned by an American woman, was the largest we’ve had, with the largest bathroom and the softest sheets and towels. This was a meeting place for the local gringos living in the area and we enjoyed hearing their stories. Most of the other guests were looking to buy property and two were in the process of building homes.
The area is quite arid and we were surprised to see cacti. The amount of garbage has been disturbing too.
Next we decided to check out Puerto Lopez, but it was a legitimate third world village. It’s also where we had our cheapest accommodations and the smallest bath towels. As we were greeting people while waiting to check in, one lady said she worked there washing the sheets – by hand! Coming from the bus terminal on one of the motorized tricycle taxis I had noticed a large covered outdoor facility where the washing was being done.
Our low spending record day was exactly $50. Nomadic Matt, author of How to Travel the World for $50 a Day would be so proud!
Most of our places have many beds in them, and nowhere to place our suitcases except on the extra beds. The rooms would be terribly crowded for 4-6 travelers. There’s always been hot water, but not usually at the sink.
Yesterday we continued down the coast by bus to Salinas. As we got closer we could see high rises clustered out on a point in the distance and oil tankers out on the blue ocean. Some have likened Salinas to a smaller version of Miami, and known for noisy crowds on weekends and holidays. We are here mid-week and staying right on the Malecon overlooking a huge beach and a marina. The water is clear, calm and shallow – and buoyed off from boats and jet skis – perfect for swimming.
The search for good coffee continues and has not been very successful. In Puerto Lopez, just after Steve decided to drink a Coke, we stumbled upon a place selling Colombian coffee. Here in Salinas we were directed to Cafe Jazz in a cute garden setting run by a woman from Kazahkstan where we had coffee good enough coffee that we returned this morning.
Next stop Cuenca – and hopefully we stay put for a month!