We had gone to lunch at the expat restaurant on Friday, and spoke with her about the apartment, and decided it wasn't for us. Dave's was the one, if he'd have us, and as it turns out he's pretty sure it's a perfect match. So we committed to a year at $450 plus utilities. But let me start from the beginning, the bus.
We had to get on the bus that said Manta/Rocafuerte, and it turned out to be the second bus that came by, so far so good. Finally got a picture, looks a lot like a Greyhound, some are more decorated than this one. We had to transfer at Rocafuerte to the San Clemente/Bahia bus, and that turned out to be a piece of cake, because as soon as we got off, (looking stunned, I guess), multiple people (vendors) asked where we were going, and were quick to point to the other side of the street where we were to wait. The bus came soon enough, except it said San Clemente/PortoViejo, and it was full, standing room only. It was cooler while standing, so that was a plus, and it all added to the adventure. The ticket guy came around, and told a man that was dozing with his toddler to move over and put the child on his lap so I could sit. Not sure if that was because of my boot, or because I'm a woman, but it was nice. We kept driving, and I couldn't be sure that we weren't going to Porto Viejo first, but it didn't matter, we were being flexible. Finally (20 minutes maybe) I felt the air thru the windows turn cooler, and I figured we were headed back to the coast, we passed a really bustling little town called Charapoto, and saw a huge outdoor market (good to know, sat and sun only) and we recognized that we had driven by there the other day with Richard, so we knew we were close. Soon it all became really familiar and we knew we were to be there any minute. We called Dave, and he had a mototaxi pick us up at the town square. We met Dave and his girlfriend Aida at the house and started talking business.
To make a long story short, we've got a list of items Dave will complete before we move in, stuff we are allowed to do, and free storage for our container if it arrives as expected sometime after June 25th. Rent starts on Aug 1st. Super excited, we'll post pictures as things progress, and a video is coming a little bit later today. The pictures and vidzwe have don't really show the potential. We have vision, and that's Muy importante! Very excited for our upcoming year at the beach!
We had a great lunch with Dave and Aida too, right down the Malecon from the house. Al muerzo, lunch special was peanut based soup, with shrimp, yucca (thought it was potato) and corn, very yummy and then a plate of fish, rice and lentils, and came with a drink. WAY too much food, and each person was $3! The soup is called Viche, and the fish was seasoned to perfection, pan fried, I couldn't eat it all, maybe next time we'll share. Mike says we could eat there twice a week for sure, within walking distance, and at $3 we probably will.
We will bus into PortoViejo this morning, Dave told us about a new grocery store, so we'll check it out. And we need fruit, so we may stop at Cruz a Verde to see Jaime. The buses are already running, but I'm sure the store doesn't open til 10am. It'll be another great day in Ecuador!
Sunrise from the porch. Buenos Dias!