Archive for October, 2009

Halloween

Halloween is not celebrated in Latin America like it is in the states.  They celebrate “The Day of the Dead” on November 2 where they have various festivals in the cemeteries.   Here in Puerto Amistad we celebrated Halloween tonight with the “boat Children” and some of their friends from school.  Maya threw a small party at the restaurant and boaters transported groups of the children out to the boats for US style Trick-or-Treating.  We waited on our boats for the children and passed out goodies to them.

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Bill passed out little packets of cookies while I took photos of the event.  This all transpired before dark so there was still plenty of time for Bill and I to go into the bar for an evening on the computers enjoying beers.

Four-Day Bus Trip

Tuesday morning, Oct.27, we left on a bus heading to Guaranda with our friends Shirley and Frank.  Our first leg was two hours to Puerto Viejo where we changed to a bus to get us to Quevedo, 5 hours later.   From Quevedo we caught a bus to Babahoyo.  This was only a two hour leg, but we arrived after 5 PM so spent the night in a hotel near the intersection where we could catch a bus in the morning to carry us up into the Andes to the town of Guaranda.  The bus driver was most helpful in telling us where to get off the bus and pointing out the hotel where we could spend the night.

Wednesday morning we caught an early bus up into the mountains.  The road was twisty with steep valleys and spectacular views as it rose up into the Andes from the wet river valley around Babahoyo.  We arrived into Guaranda before noon.  After checking into a hotel and leaving off our bags we decided to continue on to Salinas with its many cottage factories.  It was quite warm in Guaranda but at the higher altitude of Salinas it was cold.  Our first purchases were therefore sweaters.  The yarn is spun in one of the larger of the cottage factories and the woman of the town knit some of the yarn into items for sale.  The  entire town is run as a cooperative, so that the many products of the town can be grouped together for export.  We took an afternoon tour of many of the small factories and purchased lots of chocolate, cheese and small amounts of tea and salami.  We caught a combi back down the mountain to Guaranda after 5 PM and by then it was even getting cool in Guaranda, so our new sweaters were much appreciated.

The hotel in Guaranda only had rooms for Wednesday night so Thursday we headed back down to the coast in Guayaquil where we spent one more night before returning to Bahia de Caraquez yesterday.  Even that trip was an adventure as the bus broke down about 2/3 of the way home.  The drivers spent some time trying to get the bus running again but eventually called for another bus.  Three hours later we were on our way again and arrived back in Bahia just before dark.

It was a short but interesting trip as we passed thru parts of Ecuador that we had not been thru before.

Entertainment at Puerto Amistad

 

Last night Frank played and sang for the early crowd at Puerto Amistad.  Bill and I stayed in to enjoy the music and ordered hamburgers for dinner along with several bottles of beer.

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Grocery Shopping

 

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Today we hauled our anchor chain into Manta for galvanizing and after the chain was dropped off, we made a big grocery run at one of the big supermarkets.   Manta is about 1 1/2 hours away so it is only occasionally that we make the run in to the stores there.

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We returned to Bahia soon after low tide so had to lug the groceries down the steeply sloping ramp to the dock and into the dinghy.   Then it took an hour to get all the goodies put away, but now the cupboards on Lanikai are stocked again.

Progress Continues

The anchor chain is piled on the foredeck ready to be transported ashore on the high tide tomorrow morning for the first leg of its trip to Manta and new galvanizing.  We have hired our favorite taxi driver with his pickup truck to get us and the chain to Manta on Wednesday.  I am looking forward to a trip to the Mall as well.  There is the big US-style grocery store there where I can start restocking the boat with yummy food. 

Today we finished repairing the first half of the propane locker and Bill moved the propane tank that we are using to that side of the box so that we can begin work on the other half.  Our second tank is in Puerto Amistad getting refilled.  We are holding off on picking it up as long as possible, lacking a place to store it on Lanikai except in the propane locker that we are working on.

Saturday Night we watched the first 3 quarters of the football game (Alabama vs S.Carolina) and enjoyed Tripp’s very excellent and meaty spaghetti and super garlicky garlic bread.  It got late and the game was very one-sided, so ESPN2  started spending too much time advertising other games and not much time  on the current one, so we headed back to Lanikai before the game was over.  It was already 9:30PM anyhow.

Tonight we are off for pizza.  A cruiser friendly hostel has conned one of their Italian guests to cook up Pizza and the cruisers have been invited.  Frank of WindSong is taking his guitar, so there should be good music as well.