Friday, September 5, 2014

Bahia and Bad news

Thursday we went to Bahia to do some shopping, I verified in the morning on Facebook, where to catch the bus and prices for taxis, and we set off late morning. Usually we walk towards San Jacinto and catch the bus anywhere from 3 blocks past the house to 3/4 mile in the square, but for Bahia we walked the other direction towards San Clemente. I was told to catch the bus "in front of the fruit stand across from the church". When we got to the intersection, I had to laugh, as there were not two, but three "fruit stands"  and the church was situated in such a way that all of them could be across from it. Luckily we knew which direction we were to be headed so it made it easy, but it was funny, that's Ecuador for you. As we were waiting for the bus a taxi pulled up with a passenger in the front seat, the driver asked if we wanted a ride for $4, it was going to be almost that for the bus, so we said sure and jumped in. 

Bahía de Caráquez, officially known as San Antonio de Caraquez and founded under the name of Villa de San Antonio de la Bahía de Caráquez or simply known today as Bahía, formerly called Bahía de los Caras during the period of the Spanish conquest, is a coastal city belonging to the Sucre county, in the Ecuadorian province of Manabí. The city is located on a sandy peninsula on the country's western coast at the mouth of the Río Chone and has considerable tourism infrastructure that positions it as the main regional town. It has seen significant development during the last 15 to 20 years, particularly because it has become a vacation destination for people from Quito and Guayaquil. The city is located one hour north of the city of Manta and in the pre-Columbian era was host to the ancient Indian city of Caran. Across the bay is the town of San Vicente. The bridge was completed Nov 2010.

Bahía became an Ecocity on February 23, 1999 due to the devastation caused by two natural disasters in 1997 and 1998. The city features the world's first certified-organic shrimp farm.

When we got out of the taxi, we walked around downtown, probably 8 blocks by 5 blocks, we saw the fabric store we had shopped at last time, went into the plant nursery and "talked" with the owner Luis, found out some prices, so we can compare with Tarzan the Gardner. Decided to meander back to the waterfront and find lunch before doing our shopping. Noticed that for being such a pretty area, the city didn't hire trash picker uppers, and there was the most litter of anywhere we've been, too bad. We found a cute little place for lunch, our view was the water taxis, and marina.

View from outside, you can see the bridge a little clearer.

After lunch we walked across the street to the Tia grocery store, bought another multi tier plastic table, a small lamp for $9, welcome mats for $2 each, dark colors so they don't show the dirt, because walking around our outdoor living, our feet are filthy! (Don't know if y'all realize but the only places in our house that are inside are the bedrooms. The living room and kitchen are outside. From the time we wake up and get out of bed, til we go back to bed we are outside.) Pillows, we purchased two more pillows for $4 each, so we can sit up in bed, or on our "outdoor couch" the twin daybed a little more comfortably. These are all things that we couldn't find here in town, at least not at the same price, Casa de Todo had bed pillows, but he was asking $8, that was a little steep. We stocked up on dog food, peanut butter, fruit pulp for smoothies, bought some candles for power outages, citronella candles for the mosquitoes, some more plates and bowls (2/.99) and another spatula $1.50.

We made one more stop, at the bakery across the street, got a couple slices of tres leche cake, and fresh rolls, found a taxi that wouldn't gringo price us and loaded up for home. The first two taxis we asked said $25, the third guy started at $12, but Mike got him down to $10, and that was exactly where we wanted to be. He dropped us at the door, with all our loot, and for less that $15, we took a taxi there AND back, not bad! It was a good outing, and the little things are making life that much sweeter.

Our new bedside table and lamp, it was so nice and civilized having a lamp last night. Now on to the bad news...when we got done fancy-ing up the place, and on to checking email, Catalina told me that not only did we have one more paper to sign at the bank (ugh!) but they had declared the container abandoned! What?!? She said it was Customs that declares one abandoned, if it's not cleared within 45 days of arrival. They inspected it on Aug 11th, the 47th day, why did they even bother? She says the "abandonment" can be lifted, but it takes about a month, omg! Are you kidding? Not only can I NOT afford the storage fees now, another month is another $2000! One needs a lawyer to lift the abandonment, which is more money we don't have, looks like all hope is dashed again, and we will have to start over. 

After we cooled down a little, Mike and I decided we couldn't quit just yet, we are still waiting to hear what the vessel line (owners of the container) say about taking payments, then we will know what to do. If they say yes, we continue and try to fight this abandonment thing, get the "final" paper signed at the bank and press on, if they say no, then we're done and we walk away. Use the money we have set aside to pay the storage fees to replace what we can. Literally Start over. I was told by the lady on the phone I should have a decision in 4 business days, it's been 6 since the original email was sent with the request. So, another weekend of anticipation, and maybe we can have an answer next week. But for today, I'm clocking out, gonna try to have fun and not think about it (yeah right)...

After breakfast we will walk down to the point and see what this looks like. The square and Main Street will have carnival type booths set up, and music tonight, parade tomorrow with more surfing, music and food. It'll be our first San Clemente festival, can't wait to tell you all about it! always...stay tuned, the adventure continues!

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