27th December 2015
Last night Ali had to check out the men’s guest toilets and yes they were blocked; this time, it was not just a leak either. He managed to unblock it enough to last the rest of the evening and to attend to the problem in the morning. Little did we know what the problem entailed!
We or should I say Ali woke up to a beautiful still and peaceful morning, so peaceful I slept a little later than usual. Hmm, I shall be more aware of waking up the same time as Ali in future especially when the camera is lying around! He did take a few photos of the beautiful view from our room.
After breakfast – my shift was only supposed to start at 12 pm, we went to have a look at the septic drains (why I went with I will never know lol!). Oh gross, gross, gross! It was overflowing and obviously blocked for some time now. I would rather deal with the cockroaches from CasaAnna than this any day. That was goodbye to a beautiful and peaceful morning and hello to the stench and pooh.
Junior had gone to get supplies from town, and we did not want to wait to get this fixed – the hotel is full of guests, and the distinct smell of drains that’s been hanging about is not a good thing. On went the gloves, I wore a mask and Ali had an old shirt tied around his face. We started at the first drain or septic tank behind the men’s guest toilet; Ali lifted the concrete slab and oh my goodness it was putrefying. After several attempts to clear the blockage from there, we had to open the second drain at the end of the building, we were unpleasantly presented with the same scenario and stench. It was, by now obvious that the blockage was in the pipe between the two drains, (of course it had to be!). So Ali found some wire ( a thin version of bloudraad) and another pipe and with the help of the water from the hosepipe, which does not have much pressure, the blockage came undone.
Honestly, I can handle a babies dirty diaper Ali cannot and yet here he was dealing with the pooh. We opened the third drain and, fortunately, this one was not too bad, and all it required was a little water to get flushed through the pipes to clear the blockage. The main cause of the problem was cigarette butts and toilet paper. In Ecuador you cannot flush your toilet paper down the toilet, you have to throw it into a bin, today’s exercise is the reason for this rule. Junior’s mother, whom we call Mama, was most curious at all this. She looked in the drains, covering her nose, of course, carried tools and complained that the person they had paid a fair amount of money to not so long ago had not done his job – she is so adorable.
At 12 pm I had to go shower, already late for my shift but we had conquered the pooh-pooh and killed the smell. So gross gosh we nearly gagged so many times, poor Junior – when he returned from town and saw what we were doing he nearly cried, he had no words even in Spanish.
While I was cleaning cabins with the lovely Erin (I’ve since discovered they call her Cristina – I’ve also heard her being called Helen and Augusta haha), Ali got stuck into the back porch behind the kitchen. Again, Mama was chatting away at how the people just dumped things and not keep it clean – she is so funny.
Luckily the morning shift cleaned most of the cabanas, so I was finished quickly with them and went to help Ali again. Under the tap was a mushy stinky marsh of mud and dirt, we had just cleaned the drains so why not this. Ali dug away the dirty mud with a spade, while I found some bricks to make a temporary slab for the water to run off, then we unpacked, cleaned and repacked the cleaning materials storage space.
While I was cleaning the cabanas still, Ali had unpacked the storage are and temporarily placed the 20lt water bottles in the laundry room, which he had just swept out. Maybelle, an employee, and the funniest woman came out from the kitchen yelling at Ali. She is a tiny woman with a high pitched nasal voice and naturally speaks very fast. Ali just stood and stared at her thinking that she was moaning at him for sweeping out her laundry room. Lovely Erin/Cristina came to the rescue and explained that Maybelle did not want the water bottles in the laundry room. Ali then explained that it was just temporary while he unpacked the storage area – she was not having any of it and out the water bottles had to go. Everyone was laughing so much that eventually Maybelle had to laugh too, but the bottles were still not allowed in the laundry room – everyone is very proud of their territorial responsibilities. Ali removed the bottles, and we finished the back area without any further ado.
We love this place, but if we have another day like today, I will definitely puke and run.
To wind down and after a refreshing cleansing shower, we went to town. There is always a buzz and jolly vibe in Puerto Lopez. You will find old men in the streets playing cards without fail, men or children playing soccer on the indoor Astroturf – it is very neatly done and well maintained too.
I have previously posted photos of the tower that has arrow signs indicating all the countries and their latitudes as well as the whale that you can find on the malecon. This time, we took photos with our SA flag and the Sharks flag.
This dog is not a statue. The first time I saw it I got such a fright as I had never seen such an ugly or beautiful dog in my life. He runs after his owner on his bike through town. He is solid muscle and is truly a very scary animal; I’m sure his owner deliberately does that to his hair – shame.
A tradition here is to put large firecrackers into these dummies, made of paper and wire then on New Years’ Eve they celebrate by lighting the crackers and blowing them up. They sit in the streets outside their little shops painting them and get great delight out of being photographed by gringos. Clearly there have not been many South African’s here before as we almost always need to explain where South Africa is – the quickest way we have found is to say simply Mandela and voila they know; education 101.
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