Today we left Manta and traveled south to Salinas, going through not only a variety of smaller towns, but apparently a variety of ecosystems as well. Leaving Manta, we passed from beach to Badlands to rain forest, all in the space of about 50 km. It’s one of the things I have loved about Ecuador so far. One can be on the coast or in the mountains, in a bustling city or a quiet village, even in the new world or the old world, all for the price of a bus ticket, all in a country the size of Colorado. What an incredible variety.
Manta was nice, but not exactly my cup of tea. It was heavily industrial and a major commercial port. That means lots of people, and frankly lots of dirt. I enjoy peace and quiet, and Manta was hopping.
So I was happy to stop for a while in Puerto Cayo, a smaller town along the coast which is absolutely picturesque. The pace of life there was clearly more laid back, more of what I expected from Latin America. We walked the beach and drove here and there throughout the village. I have seen three different House Hunters International programs featuring Puerto Cayo, and I made contact some time ago with a good man who bought a house there. He has helped me immensely to prep for this trip, and even while I’ve been on site. Many thanks, Steve.
Then we finished the trip arriving in Salinas. It’s not exactly my kind of place, either. There is definitely a party atmosphere here. There is also a large number of expats here, too. In fact, as we were searching for a hotel,m we walked by an open restaurant, where the bartender took one look at us and said, “How y’all doin’?” Is it that obvious?
When we did check into our hotel, it is a bit pricey, but it is also a 2 BR suite that I could share with Greg and Debby. So instead of my usual spartan accommodations, for a little extra I will spend the night in an apartment overlooking the Pacific, and the windows of the dining area open up completely to create an indoor terrace. It’s been fun to see how the other half lives. 🙂
Tomorrow we tour Salinas, then in the evening, we return to Guayaquil. Greg and Debby return home Tuesday a.m., I don’t fly back until Thursday, I’m thinking of returning to Cuenca for my final two days. That seems to fit me well. Besides, I was able to buy an alpaca blanket and sweater there that we haven’t found anywhere along the coast. Debby Chambers really would really like to get one, so maybe I can pick these up for her as a way of thanking them for their constant generosity.