Saturday, August 3, 2013

Reasons # 4 +

We've been here in Bahia de Caraquez for a week, and the time, typically, has flown by.  Upon arrival, we were so thrilled to be here, having conquered (or at least becoming friends with) the mighty Pacific, that there was a bit of an adrenaline burst.  After getting an amazing sleep last Saturday night, on perfectly calm and flat waters, we woke up ready to blitz the town.  We weren't too bothered about not checking in, as our passports had been taken from us by the Puerto Amistad piloto, Pedro, and we were assured that paperwork would be gotten underway for us. 

Order of business, of course, was beer for Ron.  He assures me that he's not drunk all the time, but that it's just like water, and as it's cheaper than sodas (and probably better for him, anyway), I can't complain.  But we ran into a glitch.  It was Sunday, and Ecuador is a dry country on Sundays.  Ron would have to wait.  We lowered the dinghy and proceeded to go visiting the various boats we knew here in the anchorage, specifically both Serenity (Debi and Victor) and Victoria (Alan).  A mercy beer to Ron from Victor, and a few strawberries for me, and we got the lay of the immediate land and headed over to Victoria to see our long-lost buddy, Alan, on his Hudson Force 50.  Mercy rum for Ron, and mercy red wine for me, and we regaled each other with tales of our individual journeys from Panama City to Ecuador. 

Several hours later, Alan took us for dinner in "town".  Actually, we treated him, but he showed us where to go.  Sitting outside on the sidewalk, we ordered the special, which turned out to be 1/2 of a bbq chicken, a foil wrapped baked potato, a helping of cabbage salad, and a huge plate of rice and beans for all of us.  Combined with a Fanta and Coke, and the bill came to $13.  Awesome food, with VERY attractive prices.  This is Reason # 4 to like Ecuador. 

Per my Facebook posting a few days later, Reason #2 and 3 were the strawberries and grapes we found at the local mercado.  What a pleasure to be able to walk to the local market, instead of having to taxi, like we did in Panama City.  Already we were saving the $10-20 fare we had been spending for the last 6 months, each time we needed groceries.  Suffice it to say that in comparison, this small town has an enormous leg up on the fruit and vegie situation, over the huge city of Panama.  The quality and variety is better than we've seen in years.  Not since Mexico, as a matter of fact.  I asked for $1 worth of cilantro (the first we had seen in a year) and was startled when I got a floral bouquet sized bunch.  Suffice it to say, that I opted for 50 cents worth instead. 

Just a sample of the quality here
Reason #5.....a dinghy dock that is solid and secure, without the added bonus of used condoms. 

Reason #6 is the weather.  Yes, our blood these days is thin.  However, I don't care who you are, but if you don't like 78 degrees during the day, WITH sunshine, then you need to reassess.  I even pulled out our neglected duvet which had been relegated to the v-berth a year and 1/2 ago. We are able to sleep in the same bed, hug each other without needing a shower afterwards, get outdoor projects done without passing out from the heat and humidity, and I can contemplate cooking something in the oven without the dire side effects of raising the temperatures in the galley.  Our power consumption is lower, as the fridges and freezer don't need to work so hard, as both the air and water temperatures are 20 degrees lower.  We are so grateful. 

A few days ago, Ron was able to get his much needed beer.  As he got a case (12) of double bottles, it would have been a bit much to carry all the way back to the dinghy.  So instead of embarking upon a convoluted and irritating negotiation with a cabbie, per Panama, we hailed a bicycle driver, with room for two and a bunch of groceries.  It was 50 cents.  I'd say that was a huge Reason #7.

We've been laying pretty low.  Two trips to town have made up our entire social schedule for the week.  We discovered after the adrenaline rush of arrival, we tanked and have been sleeping, and puttering, and have been slowly building up our enthusiasm levels again. 

Now that we are in a spot where the boat is safe and secure, we're turning our sights to the south American travel we've been researching and reading about.  Itineraries have been completed.....on Tuesday we're off to Quito and then north into Columbia for a few weeks.  So the next posting will be "News on the Road". 

Over and out.....

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