Friday, Dec 30, 2016

Today is a chill day. We have not made any plans and our intention is to just hang out around the pool. Last night a large group, made up of about four families, checked in. They are from Quito I believe, some of them speak English, and they are all very nice. The young kids hit the pool first thing after waking up. It’s great to be a kid!

Mid-morning someone turned on their stereo from their car parked inside the gate and close to the pool. The large customized speakers in the open trunk of the car played rock and roll which was in English. I enjoyed it as I sat at a table by the pool. Ecuadorians love their music. Most of their car stereo systems are better than what I used to have in my home.

Most of today has been thick with cloud cover, sometimes looking like it will rain, but it never did. I noticed something about myself. I am enjoying this gray day. The temperature is warm, the ocean breeze is blowing; I can hear the sound of the waves on the beach, and I am completely comfortable sitting outside enjoying all of it. I like the rhythm of the weather and temperatures at the coast. My body definitely feels in sync here.

We did venture out in the afternoon and walked to San Jacinto. Like San Clemente, only smaller, it is a fishing village with a few tiendas, a farmacia, some restaurantes, and its claim to fame…the one and only ATM in this whole area. It is definitely a different lifestyle and mindset here.

San Jacinto Main Street

It makes me realize what a phenomenal city Cuenca is with its stunning buildings, availability of art and music, plethora of restaurants and great food, and the many services available. And I know that isn’t what I am after at this time in my life.

In Ecuador everyone burns the “Monigote de Año Viejo” to celebrate the incoming New Year. The Monigote de Año Viejo, or “rag doll of old year”, is a stuffed papier-mache figure that represents the old year. The ones for sale are designed as superheros, Disney animals, cartoon characters, and celebrity personalities. People also use old clothes stuffed with paper or straw and attach a papier-mache head to burn.

At 12 am on New Years, these effigies are burned. All the things people want to be rid of from the old year are written down and stuffed into or put on these effigies to be burned. It is a big deal here and there are fires everywhere. Some are even stuffed with fireworks as well.

As I was walking through San Jacinto I passed a vendor selling these effigies.

Monigotes de Año Viejo

A fishing boat representation greets all those arriving to San Jacinto.

Welcome to San Jacinto

Although not known for whale watching, the whales do pass by here on their way to warmer waters in the winter.

san jacinto whale tail

Heidi and Todd…a whale of a tale

Our evening was filled with games and food…really not a bad day at all.