17th to 21st December 2015
Four days off and what should we do?
Bahia de Caraquez is what did. We left CasaAnna with enough time to not be late for the bus, but yeah this is Ecuador, and the bus was 45 minutes late. In their defense, I must say this was the first time it was that late – the bus driver made up for it by driving like a crazy maniac to Manta. We sweated for a good reason around very tight corners, and when we got off the bus in Manta, I finally breathed a sigh of relief. Shoo, that was scary.
On to the next bus, five minutes later we were on our way to Bahia de Caraquez. The movie showing on the bus was Fast and Furious ?? The last one – the first one was more than I could handle. Honestly, even in Spanish it was a load of utter rubbish and the only good part in the whole movie was the tribute to Paul Walker at the end, it was very touching.
After four hours on two buses, we arrived in Bahia, caught the next bus into the city. At this point, we still did not have the exact address of the B&B we were staying at so we got off the bus in the city centre.
Backpacks on our backs we wandered down to the beach front side of town and came across a restaurant/bar we knew had to be owned by an expat and sure enough – it did. It has so much potential but sadly the owner is not a nice person.
He did, at least, give us directions to the B&B. Guess what – the Hotel Bahia B&B is situated right back at the entrance of the town, we drove past it on the bus! So we trekked all the way back and discovered the town on the way.
David and Sofia met us with open arms and kindness. He is Canadian, and she is Colombian. (I won’t go into detail on her reaction to the Ms Universe debacle.) We were given a lovely room on the top floor (third floor) and allowed to relax.
Ali and I packed out our bags, rested a bit and then went to the shopping centre across the road to get a few necessities – that also gave us the chance to have a Carl’s Jr burger – gosh they nice.
Ali was asked to repair electrical appliances, a few doors, and general maintenance. He offered to clean up the garden and in particular he nursed and spruced up the passion fruit vine. I got their social media up and running on several sites.
We had plenty of time to explore this gorgeous little Bahia. On the bay side, it is still a third world until you start getting to the point where the bay meets the Pacific Ocean. From here and all around the ocean side is modern high rises and the first world influence is prominent. All along the bay and the coast is a promenade or ‘malecon’ as they call it here. It is a lovely walk that takes up most of your afternoon, but it is so pleasant.
On the top of the hill is this huge cross. You can walk up (steep walk up and down) and have the most magnificent view of either side.
What is most fascinating is the amount of driftwood that is washed up on the shore, it is not just driftwood that was washed up overnight – it has been there for some time. It just lies there, and that amazes me because the Ecuadorians make the most fabulous handcrafted furniture out of the natural shape of the tree.
On Friday just after lunch, we went down to the market. Fruit and Veg market on the one side and a fish market next to it. The market is not as big as the one in Manta, but I found the people friendlier. We had a few bags full of fresh –organic – produce to carry back home.
In Bahia, they do not have the Tuk-Tuks as it is an eco-friendly town, so they have the Nacho Libra type bikes. We decided to ride with one and of course, our driver (if that is what he is) had the skinniest legs you can imagine; so, on me Ali and our groceries get. He starts to pedal away; it was fine at first until we came around a corner onto the last stretch of road and we hit a headwind – haha, it was so funny! We could hear the poor fellow panting and the bike were going in a zig-zag direction as he battled to gain any ground going forward. Shame we told him to stop, and we walked the rest of the way – the bugger still charged us a dollar, though!
Of course, there is a huge church in the town and now at this time of year the garden is beautifully decorated with nativity scenes. They take a lot of time and effort with this; they even have a man that walks around the garden with a broom picking up any little piece of dirt or leave and scoots off any person that happens to wander off the path into the nativity scenes.
The garden was brightly lit up, and it was very pretty.
Walking along the streets at night we looked up at robot (traffic lights) and could not believe our eyes. There were hundreds of birds perched on the electrical cables almost all of them facing the same direction and chirping the sweetest noise. Only at this intersection of the town and no-where else, I have never seen anything like it before I only wish I was able to take professional photos for this.
On Sunday Guayaquil soccer team, Emelec played in a huge match against a team from Quito. It was a huge game as if the won this game they win the cup. The whole town drove in convoy to ‘somewhere’ to watch the game dressed in all the colours of the team. It was fabulous to watch and at the same time it made me a little homesick as that Currie Cup feeling crept into my heart. Sharks forever!
If there is one thing that stuck out like a sore thumb and that is the cleanliness of the place. Unlike any other town we have been to or even driven past in Ecuador, it is spotless. We loved this little town and hoped to visit again and spend more time finding out all its interesting places.
We’ve move along to Puerto Lopez till the 2nd January 2016.
From Ali and I we wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. Remember God loves you so much He died for you.
Remember to view all the photos (there are so many more) on our Facebook page;