Sunday, Jan 1, 2017

I had a fun NYE, how about you? This morning I don’t want to do anything but veg out by the pool. It is a hot one here this morning. By about noon all the kids belonging to the large group that was staying here had checked out. I looked out my cottage window and decided the pool was just the ticket to be outside and survive the hot sun.

I walked up to the edge of the pool with my cold beer in hand and as I looked in, the pool wasn’t filled with the pristine, clear water I remember before all the kids showed up. It was murky and cloudy which caused me to think, how many times did all those little kids pee in this pool?

Damn. I sat at the edge of the pool and only put my feet in, resting on the first step leading into the water. I sat and looked at the water, drank my beer, and contemplated what I was going to do. I couldn’t get myself to jump in. After 10 minutes of sitting there I went back into my air-conditioned cottage and worked on my blog.

Speaking of my blog, I am almost at the one year mark when I started it. My goal was to post what was going on with me in Ecuador every day for the first year. I arrived on January 11th, 2016, so my daily blog posts are nearing their end.

I fully intend to keep this blog active, and I’m looking forward to posting articles, topics, and musings when I feel moved. I’ll be checking in on a regular basis, just not everyday or on any set schedule. At least that is how I envision it going.

Our friends Roy and Melody are moving into a condo at Vistazul in San Clemente. They have been staying at the Cottages for over a month since coming back to Ecuador. We are going to give them a hand this afternoon moving their things over to their new place.

January 1st is a big holiday for the Ecuadorians with many of them coming to the beaches today. I rode in the truck we used to move Roy and Melody’s things to their new place and the town was almost in gridlock.

I counted at least 10 Greyhound-like buses parked on the side streets and on the Malecon that came in filled with people from surrounding inland towns. The number of cars in town right now is insane too. It was at least a 30+ minute ride from the Cottages to Roy’s place; a distance that is normally covered in about five.

It only took two trips to move all of Roy and Melody’s things to their new place. They stayed and unpacked while the rest of us hung out at the Cottages and played cards under the thatched roof at one of the large poolside tree-trunk tables. The breeze from the ocean kept us cool and comfortable.

At dinner time all of us walked to Vistazul to meet with Roy and Melody for dinner. We tried to catch the local bus from the Cottages to go into central San Clemente, then walk the rest of the way to Vistazul.

Maybe because of the holiday the local bus didn’t seem to be running as frequently as we expected, so after 20 minutes with no bus in sight, we started walking. It isn’t a bad walk but from where we were waiting for the bus, we ended up walking along the main highway into town.

There is a dog who lives at the Cottages. Her name is Mama, and only has one eye. She used to be a street dog and was taken in by Kim, the owner of the Cottages. Mama follows us where ever we walk when we leave the from here.

Now, she is following us into town which usually isn’t a problem when we are walking on the Malecon. Out here on this busy road I am getting stressed. Mama decides to cross the highway because of a not so friendly barking dog on our side.

With sporadic speeding cars and buses it seems like she will get hit, but some how makes it across. I guess you don’t live long as a street dog without getting your timing down. We cross to her side of the street and she follows us all the way to Vistazul. The sun is setting and the sky is phenomenal.

We are having dinner at the hotel across the street from Vistazul. When we walk through the open air corridor and into the pool area, Roy and Melody have already secured a table. As we sat down a hotel employee comes to our table and tells us that we cannot have a dog in this area without a leash.


We tell him she is not our dog and as he tries to move Mama out, she darts under our table and sits at my feet. He looks at us and says, “Sure, she isn’t your dog” and walks away. Since Roy’s place is just across the street he went and got a leash. Mama sat quietly under our table the entire time.

After dinner we walked over to Roy and Melody’s, enjoyed some wine, and played our favorite dice came for a couple of hours.


The evening walk back to our place, this time along the ocean, was filled with the soft roar of the ocean and warm tropical breezes. A perfect night.