Saturday, Oct 29, 2016

We had a great breakfast made by the staff at Saiananda. We were served papayas and bananas with yogurt, fresh baked bread, homemade jam, and fried plantain fritters stuffed with seasonings and queso fresco. Just missing some pitahaya (Dragon Fruit). The owner, Alfredo, stopped by to ask how everything was going.

Room over the water

Room over the water

After sharing our concerns about our room’s location, he was very gracious and moved us to one of the rooms built over the river. It was far from the noise of the dining area and we can sit on our private deck and enjoy a fantastic view overlooking the river with Bahia in the far skyline.

Miguelito the Giant Tortoise

Miguelito the Giant Tortoise

When we finished breakfast and after changing rooms, we walked around the grounds of Saiananda. Miguelito, the giant tortoise that lives on the grounds was resting in a pile of sand. It is said this tortoise is over 150 years old. There are also peacocks, parrots, and various birds to look at. The giant sloth, Don Perez, lives here too but we haven’t seen him yet.

Pitahaya Dragon Fruit

Field of Pitahaya (Dragon Fruit)

We met up with Doug and he took us to Don and Donna’s farm. I saw the farm house porch where we lived for two weeks, and was able to say hello to Walter, the man who lives at the farm with his family. Doug droves us behind the farmhouse to the fields to pick some Dragon Fruit (pitahaya) for Alfredo, the owner at Saiananda.

pitahaya dragon fruit

Dragon Fruit

It was nice opportunity to visit the farm and show Chase the place we called home immediately after the earthquake.

After dropping the dragon fruit off at Saiananda, we went into Bahia with Doug. This is the first time I have seen it since we left at the end of April. So many buildings in town are gone. There are still families living in tents in the park. All of the high rise condos along the waterfront need a lot of repairs. A couple of them have already been demolished because the damage was so complete, and some are scheduled for that same fate.

We drove by Torresol where we used to live, and it is in the process of being repaired. It will survive. Since it’s Saturday, David the building concierge isn’t here. I would have liked to say hi to him.

Right across the street is only an empty lot now, cleared of the huge home and large gardens that used to be there. No longer will the old grandma, dressed in her house coat, sit on the back terrace of that house and read her newspaper each morning. I hope wherever she is living now she has a terrace to read on.

What did survive the quake was Brisas del Mar. A great tiny restaurant that sits facing the ocean along the malecon. It serves the best ceviche and breaded shrimps. We all had lunch there, sitting outside, listening to the waves crash on the beach. It is a cold today in Bahia. I’m dressed in shorts, flip flops, and a T shirt and I’m chilled from the cool breeze off the ocean today. I think we must have brought some Cuenca weather with us to the coast. 😉

H Bar Halloween Party

H Bar Halloween Party

The day ended with a party at H Bar. It is a combination Halloween party and Dave’s (of Dave and Victoria) send off for his month long sail trip to Mexico. He is moving his boat there, then flying back here. Ecuador has made the fees so excessive to have a sailboat moored here that Dave and Victoria need to move it to another country.

The party was fun. Many people dressed in costume, and others not (like me). I sat at a table with a young woman from Quebec who is getting ready to sail with two other people to Easter Island next week. This sailing thing sounds like quite the adventurous life.

For now, I am going to keep my Ecuador adventures on solid ground.