This is why Mike doesn't write the blog. I asked him for a title for yesterday's trip to Manta, this was his answer, but after much deliberation, I decided it was the best fit.
Last week Catalina told me she could no longer work on our case, she was too busy with paying clients, desperate I called Fernando, who got me in touch with Sandra Baquero, of Sanstar Intl. We spoke on the phone, but without seeing documentation of what had really been done, Sandra couldn't tell me how to proceed. I plead with Catalina to scan and email me copies, then send the originals via a courier service, but she did not, so a whole week was lost waiting for documents to arrive in Manta. Fernando called yesterday morning, and indeed the documents had arrived, so into Manta we went. We went to the bank first, to sign the "last" papers for the Customs Bond, the ladies (we call them brujas, witch) of course had no idea what we were talking about, but after over an hour, they had called the Cuenca branch and we were signing something. Progress? Maybe..
We knew there were 4 courier offices, we jumped in a taxi and hoped we were going to be delivered to the right one. Wrong, but it gets worse, if there's one thing I wish, it's that I spoke better spanish, even after typing in the translator what we were there to do, the woman still looked at me like I had four heads! How hard is it? I'm asking for an envelope, you're a courier service... You either send envelopes, or you pick them up!! Finally she understood, called and verified that my documents were at another location, and wrote down the address. Another taxi, this time $2, and to a part of a Manta we didn't know existed, another courier office, another 20 minutes of waiting, and I had my packet of documents, wow, my head was spinning.
Another $2 taxi to the bus terminal, and we were heading home. We went into the terminal to buy tickets as we always do, and they said No. Pointed, and closed the window. What the f*ck? Went back outside, looking perplexed, a man offered to help. We told him San Clemente and he told usto get on the Bahia bus, we did, and I cried all the way home. I just couldn't help it, ALL DAY people had been less than helpful, and then here was this little guy, being nice, it just sent me over the edge. That's how this adventure has been, high highs, and really low lows.
We did manage to get some nice pictures of Manta, and found an interesting nursery situated under a bridge in the "new" area we found. Walking from the bus terminal to the bank we cross a pedestrian bridge and took these of the area and marina.
We also got a picture of the protected iguanas that live in the park (sorry it's dark). And then the nursery under the bridge.
We were headed home so late, we got to see the sunset from the bus. This one has the Ecuador filter on it, (the dirty bus window) sunsets never photograph as great as they are in person, but as I sat and cried, I really loved the sun setting over the banana trees, rice fields and coconut palms. It makes me an emotional mess, such a love/hate relationship with Ecuador right now.
But, today is a new day. It was rough re-living this for you, but now that it's written, I can move on. We had surfers in front of the house, and maracuya/pineapple smoothies, it'll be a good day. Thanks for tuning in, you know it's not over...the adventure continues...