Weekly Wanders 1: Sunsets, Smells, and Strange Sights

I often feel like I’m living in a disorientated dream where fairytale and reality collide and one day I’m suddenly going to wake up a robot living a boring life. But then I pinch myself and realize “nope… this is it”. Weekly wanders is my visual account of life on the road, dreaming big, and having a lot of fun doing it. Weigh in on your favourite image in the comments section!

Rory and I have some pretty exciting plans coming up, but we’ve been in Ecuador almost three months and our 90-day visas are about to expire. This means we had to make a trip to the port-side city of Manta in order to apply for a new 6-month tourist visa or else our plan is squashed—and it’s just too good for that. The visa needs to happen.

On the bright side, we found a great hotel when we arrived disoriented and half asleep off an eight-hour, four-bus journey from Mompiche—thank you friendly taxi driver. I took my first hot shower in a month and a half, sat at a proper desk without mosquitos attacking my butt and what is this air conditioning thing that keeps me at a comfortable temperature while I sleep? It’s amazing the things you take for granted.

As much as Manta gets a bad rap for its rather rank aroma, lack of character, and absence of noteworthy attractions, it’s growing on me, slightly. I ate non-iceberg lettuce for the first time since I’ve been in Ecuador, had a great big cuppa joe (what’s with the thimble-sized coffee cups everywhere, Ecuador?), and got a free six-pack of non-Pilsener beer with my party-sized pizza. I’m refreshed, fed and finally catching up on some much-needed work.

We haven’t done much, but thanks to the extremely inefficient immigration office, we’ll be staying at least another three days because they didn’t have time to stamp our documents in the initial three days they said it would take. Frustration aside, hopefully we’ll see another side of Manta in the coming days. Right after I take another long, hot, mosquito-free shower.

And now for the visual report. This week I wandered…

 Cows crossing the street - Ecuador#1: To your average Ecuadorian bus stop. Somewhere between Chamanga and Mompiche.

 Driving down the Ruta Del Sol, Esmeraldas, Ecuador#2: Down the Ruta del Sol at sunset.

 Tuna can monument - Manta, Ecuador#3: To the city’s most notorious monument… a giant tuna can.

 Playa Tarqui - Manta, Ecuador#4: Possibly the world’s smelliest beach, Playa Tarqui.

 Fruit fondu and triple chocolate mousse cake - Manta, Ecuador#5:  Every coffee shop I found. Props go to Cafe Verde for food and Dulce & Cremosa for cake.


What have you been up to this week?

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