Monday, Jan 2, 2016

In our cottage we have a kitchen with a stove top. For breakfast most mornings we have cooked eggs and bacon, or enjoy the yogurt and granola served out by the pool. This morning we all voted to eat breakfast at Hotel San Jacinto, a short walk from our place.

Waiting for breakfast

The hotel sits on the ocean and the open air dining area has a great view. I was told the lunches here are really great…shrimp, calamari, lobster. But this is breakfast and in Ecuador, breakfasts are pretty basic. There also must be a problem in the kitchen because two tables with parties of 4 and 6 who came after us had their food first.

I ordered the “Continental”. It said eggs, toast, cafe con leche, juice, ham, and queso. Sounds pretty good to me. When it arrived I suddenly remembered what breakfasts on the coast are like.

Typical restaurant breakfast in Ecuador

The “cafe” was a cup of warm milk and a jar of instant coffee. I gave it a go and totally put too many instant crystals in my cup. It tasted like a cross between the smell of a hot car tire and burning motor oil. It remains a mystery to me how a major export of Ecuador is coffee beans, but they can’t find their way to the coast.

Mama, the dog at the Cottages, had walked with us to breakfast and layed herself down by our table while we ate. When we got up to leave she got up and lead the way home.

Beach view on walk back

We head back to Cuenca tomorrow, so today I need to buy bus tickets. (In Ecuador you cannot buy bus tickets more than 24 hours in advance). It is about an hour ride by bus from San Alejo to Portoviejo, where the bus terminal is located. It’s a hot one outside and I just want to chill by the pool, but that is going to have to happen later.

Roy and Melody stopped by. They are going to Guayaquil tomorrow for some business they need to take care of. Our trip back to Cuenca means a bus transfer in Guayaquil, so it looks like we can all ride together. Since Roy needs to buy his tickets as well, I get company on my trek to Portoviejo.

The bus that drives by in front of the Cottages goes to the Portoviejo bus station. Roy and I started walking the dusty road in front of the beach in the direction of Portoviejo, ready to jump on the bus when it drives by. The beach is full with people still on holiday. Vendors are selling blended fruit juices, grilling meats and fish, and hawking their wares.

When we reached San Jacinto, the bus still hadn’t driven by. We waited five minutes at the whale tale statue, then decided to walk to the highway and catch a bus on that road. As we walked through San Jacinto the bus we were looking for showed up and we hopped on. $1.40 from here to Portoviejo.

The South American heat and humidity is heavy today. All the windows are open on the unairconditioned bus. The breeze feels really good. As we bounce up and down along the road, I’ve decided this bus needs new shocks. When it stops to pick up more people along the way the brakes squeal with displeasure as the driver goes from 50 to zero in five seconds. I lunge forward almost into the seat in front of me.

Mural in Charapoto on way to Portoviejo

Statue entering Portoviejo

It was an interesting hour and 15 minute ride to Portoviejo, but I have to admit I am getting very tired of bus travel. At Portoviejo Roy and I got our tickets, and I didn’t have it in me to ride the bus back.

I found a taxi driver to take us home and Roy and I split the $20 fare. Air conditioning, smooth ride, good conversation, and only 45 minutes to our front door. Sometimes I just need my Norte Americano comforts. 😉

Don and Donna stopped by and our afternoon was filled with conversation around the pool. Dinner ended up in San Clemente at a local restaurant; one of the few opened for some reason. The fish was excellent!

Our last dinner together in San Clemente…for awhile 😉

When we got back to our room these two guys were outside to greet us.

On gaurd!

Moving at a snail’s pace