Saturday, July 29, 2017

Painting, painting and more painting

While my Mom was here visiting I finished up a project for Cynthia's jungle resort, getting paid for that, well made me want to finish some more projects!

Another project I have almost finished is a toy boat. I had ordered these boats as gifts for the children, but when they arrived bigger and more expensive than I had planned, I had to switch gears, so custom paint job it is.

And the other side

I also was commissioned to paint some murals at The Cottages by the Sea. They recently installed a new bar, and needed a menu board and something pretty to look at.

Before the paint job. And a couple other signs sprinkled around...

Fun stuff, as the town gears up for the big August festival, I will get some kids to help me do murals around town, so...stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Annual Blessing of the Fishermen

After Mom and I returned home from our adventures in the Sierra, we got to enjoy one of the special things we do here on the coast. My favorite, the Saint Pedro and Saint Pablo festival and Boat parade. If you have been following for some time, you will remember Mike and I went on one of the Big boats a couple years ago, this year, Mom and I watched it from my kitchen windows.

I knew from Facebook that this Procession would take place on Sunday, so as we ate breakfast of fresh bread and drank papaya smoothies, we watched the people start to congregate. From my recollection the parade really got underway at noon, and sure enough I started to see the big boats make their way from Crucita. Looked to me like there were more big shrimp boats this year, and last year with the recent earthquake we didnt have a parade at all.

Maykel hanging around, and other people began watching outside the windows. Little boats ferried people to the big boats, and finally the statues were brought down and loaded into a boat. They are blessing every boat, fisherman and praying for bountiful harvest thru out the year.

I dont know this kid, but found the picture on Facebook, the statues were displayed in town the night before and early in the day before going to the boats.

Great picture taken from a drone flying around. Also found on Facebook.

And after it was all done, and the boats had headed to Crucita, the beach was a mess, I saw a couple of my neighborhood boys out on the beach and decided to bribe them to clean up. The twins mom and aunt saw me talking to them, and helped translate, bags of trash for ice cream, that got them moving!

Two big bags collected, and the smiles on their little faces when I handed them each a fifty cent piece, priceless! A good day was had by all, I enjoyed seeing the festivites while staying out of the sun, and off the water for four plus hours, but...maybe next year. So, stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Waterfalls and wire baskets

After the Tree house we went in search of waterfalls, and we found them! There are so many spilling out of the rocks, we actually drove thru one, it was like a carwash in the middle of the road! We eventually found the place Lucia was looking for and got out for a look.

This one was coming out of the rock with such force! Amazing...

We bought tickets to ride a metal cage type gondola across the river gorge, Im not usually afraid of heights, but I didnt really like it, and then he stopped in the middle for a photo op! No gusta!!

We got out on the other side and walked around a bit. Checking out wildlife, and plants.

It doesnt show in the photo, but this was neon with little purple hairs. What a masterpiece!

Back into the basket, and across the river again, here is a picture of the machinery that made it all happen. Watched a couple people zipline across the river gorge, Wow...I dont think I could do that!

Back to downtown Banos for lunch, and some shopping. What a cool day! Saw this fun painted building, and my creative juices got flowing, I gotta get back to my beach and paint!

And a map of Banos I found online, really a cute little place.

There is much more to see in this area, but we needed to get back so the next morning Lucia went to the hotspring one more time, and after breakfast we headed back to Quito. On the way we stopped in a town known for its cheap jeans, and I got 7, yes 7 pairs of pants or shorts for $30! And the next day I got to return to some warmer weather!! We boarded the early flight to Manta and I was home having coffee and Nexar's bread in my kitchen by 8am. Ahhhhhhh the Ocean!

Mom's visit isnt over yet, she has another week with me at the beach, so stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Goodbye Quito, Hello Banos

We had certainly seen enough Quito, it was time to move on. Our destination was a quaint little spa town in the middle of the country, three hours south of Quito. (This map is from another tour, but it shows where we went.)

We arrived at the cute hotel Lucia had stayed in before, unloaded our bags, and went in search of lunch.

At $17 per night, per person including a wonderful breakfast, this hotel right on one of the town squares was perfect. Had onsight parking for Lucia's car, and walking distance to everything. Since we arrived after 2pm, we had a late lunch, walked around a little and when we got drizzled on, decided to head back for naps. Good choice, since we would head out before 6am! What?! In the morning our first stop was the hot spring. Go early before the sun gets hot, and before the crowds.

None of the hot spring pictures are mine, didnt know about taking electronics to the water, so I found these online. View from a distance, the waterfall is cooling off one of the hot springs, so it is just warmer than bath water.

Bath water pool...there is also Hot Hot pool and a cool pool on this level. Lockers, changing rooms, showers, really nice place.

And the Hot Hot pool, and cool pool on the bottom level. The waters had been analyzed at some point and the ingredients were posted. Supossed to have healing powers and many locals used to drink it, which left their teeth a strange mustard color. Another interesting thing we learned from Lucia is the laundry area.

The cascada (waterfall) pours into this laundry facility, it's not used as much anymore, but the local women used to come and do laundry with fresh water, and hot water from the hot spring. After our soak, we went back to change for breakfast before moving on to other sights. (Breakfast was lovely, fresh juice, fresh bread with marmalade, scrambled eggs and ham, and of course coffee)

Our next stop, the Tree swing on the edge of the world, sounds ominous...

Nope! Breathtaking was more the word!! We did get a glimpse of the Volcano while driving, but by the time we got up here, the clouds had come in.

We all did the "zip line swing" and then the swing over the edge...Mom and Lucia first

This one was a little scary, I only wanted to be pushed a couple times. But it was spectacular!

View from the top of the treehouse

Really was an amazing place. The white boxes are green houses, this area is big for growing Tree Tomatoes and flowers for export. A couple more photo opps, and it was back down the hill.

The altitude had bothered us a bit in Quito, especially walking upstairs, or hills. It wasnt as high here, but we did get winded. I am so glad I am getting to see some more of this beautiful country. Certainly plenty to do here! But have I mentioned...Im freezing? I havent had so many clothes on, well in three plus years!

Lunch, maybe naps, Lucia is in charge, so stay tuned...the adventure continues!