The coastal life

We went for a two week mini vacation to a little beach town on the coast last month. It was really good to get away if only to impress on us how great our life is in Cuenca. We were a little nervous about the long bus rides but we wore our N95 masks, the buses were not crowded and they fumigated them before each trip. We have been back two weeks now without getting sick so whew 😅!! The first bus took us from Cuenca to Guayaquil, a four hour ride out of the Andes mountains….always a thrill. The cost was eight dollars apiece 🙂. The bus from Guayaquil to our destination was three hours for six dollars each. Very comfortable buses with air conditioning and movies! The first thing we did after checking into our hotel was to head for the beach!!

We stayed until the sun set and it was time to find dinner in town.

Olon is a small, poor town with a very beautiful beach. There are a few pretty good restaurants tho that serve the locals and the beach visitors. Our hotel didn’t have a kitchen so we ate three meals a day either in town or in one of the fish and shrimp shacks that always line the beaches in small towns like this. We were happy with our accommodations one block from the beach with a partial view of the water.

The view from Bruce’s side of the balcony to mine, the site of our evening pre-dinner ritual of
gin and tonics and snacks. Also perfect for an early morning read before breakfast.
We had the top floor on this wing….two rooms and a bathroom.
sunset from our balcony
People usually stick around for the sunset
And the water is warm!
And then the night life starts…..usually only on the weekend
This is the entrance to the beach on our street

We were in this little beach town two years ago when we made our initial trip to Ecuador to see where we wanted to live. So this time we were able to reconnect with old friends and also meet new ones. Our landlord’s sister Anabel, owns a hacienda inland about a mile so we hiked out there one very hot day. Lovely but wouldn’t want to live there. Many of the city dwelling Ecuadorians own beautiful big houses right on the beach for their vacation homes.

Bruce was shy about invading their privacy so we only took a couple photos.

Our friend Darcy still runs his popular restaurant a couple blocks from the beach. We went there for breakfast most mornings. He just happened to be hosting a birthday party for a local fifteen year old on my birthday so we joined in. There was music and dancing and some of the local luminaries attended. It’s not a fancy place…just a little roadside cafe called The Roadhouse.

This is the view from our breakfast table
If we had a kitchen we could have prepared these. Several nights we ate at the Thai restaurant. They made a very delicious shrimp soup.
This is a home along one of the side streets. I like the flowering vines on the roof.
And along one of the side streets…..that’s a little mermaid in the bottle 😢
Aren’t they cute! The restaurant owner’s rescued dogs hanging out while we ate our “seniors breakfast” of pancakes, eggs, bacon, potatoes, fruit and toast with coffee and juice….all for three dollars! Waaaay too much to eat. We should have shared, but we seem to never learn.
For sale on the beach…..very tempting
The tanker truck piggy bank is the one Bruce brought home in his luggage.

Two of the days we spent in the next town to the south to watch the surfers. Montañita is a party town because of the big waves and cool vibe. We found a nice cafe on the north end where we could sit and watch the show. It was pretty impressive! Bruce caught a few waves too and I’m sure he will be back!

View from our table
Walking back to the town of Montañita after an entertaining afternoon
Two little cuties along the way
And some big cuties too!

Meanwhile, back at our own beach there is a lot going on. Bruce had fun capturing some of the avian wildlife. These photos are especially for you Sheila🙂

Our friend Michel who lives a mile or so down the beach. He lives by himself so comes into town on his beach bike for breakfast and dinner. Skips lunch.
I haven’t tried this very popular treat, but it looks like shaved ice with flavored syrup.
it’s the weekend!
For rent…..five dollars a day. We spent many happy hours in these chairs. The Ecuadorian sun can be brutal so we need this umbrella and SPF 50 water resistant sunblock!
Heading out for fish. It’s fun watching them maneuver past the waves!
This is the only jelly fish we saw, unlike Queensland Australia where they had to put nets out to capture them.
No sharks, either!
A lovely sight.
And we say goodbye to Olon.
We stayed two nights in Guayaquil on the way home to break up the trip.
Guayaquil is also very hot and humid so we spent time by the pool or window shopping at the mall and eating at the food court. There was a nice selection of international food. The hotel had a wonderful buffet breakfast with ample spacing between tables and super high ceilings with lots of air circulation so we felt pretty safe. They gave the utmost attention to COVID protocol, for which we were thankful.
Next door to the hotel.
looks like a big barrel ….. very pretty when lit up at night. The Ecuadorians seem to be very adventurous and inventive in their architecture.
These flowers were near the pool. I believe they are some kind of orchid.
This is a ground cover plant…I have no idea. I often wish I had Dan Hinkley in my pocket🙂
Outside a seafood restaurant

As I said, we were very happy to return to Cuenca. While we love the ocean, the small beach town is only interesting for short amounts of time. The weather is hot and humid and there is not a lot of choice for rentals. Some people love it but I’m glad that Bruce and I agree that Cuenca is the place for us. We would visit the coast more often if we could fly. Our next trip will be a short one hour flight north to Quito and Cotacachi where the volcanoes reside. Photos from that trip will be posted in April or May. Bruce already has the tickets and accommodations booked.

These custom made cushions were delivered two days after our return.
View from our terrace
A close up Mountain View….no snow or craggy peaks but nice none the less.
Actually, to our surprise, we are most fascinated by the ever changing and dramatic clouds. We recently had a huge thunder and lightening storm that felt like it was right in the living room with us because of the floor to ceiling windows.
So awesome and exciting!!

So that’s it for now. We are back to the day to day routine of retired life in Cuenca, Ecuador. We are so happy for our friends and family in the states and elsewhere who are finally being vaccinated in the hope of a better future for the whole world. We will patiently wait our turn. We feel relatively safe here and are being reasonably cautious, so life is GOOD!

Love to all of you,

Sharon and Bruce

7 thoughts on “The coastal life

  1. Beautiful photos as always! Thanks for including some birds too! So glad it was a good experience for you two. Love you both, Sheila and Stu

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  2. As always, I love your entries! So happy to know that you are content with your choices. Love the photos! We’re still homebound but feel more confident having had one of the Covid vaccine doses. The second is this week! No complaints. Miss you and enjoy sharing your adventures!

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  3. You have missed our biannual snowfall (2 days worth), followed by cold, foggy rain! Vaccine rollout in Jefferson County is painfully slow with long periods of no vaccine available and then tightly controlled eligibility. I was lucky to find an appointment in Sequim. How wonderful to be surrounded by lush colors, interesting birds, dramatic geography and daily adventures! Thanks for sharing. Laura and Rick

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  4. Wow, mom and Bruce! So many beautiful photos!!! It is so fun scrolling through them and feels like a mini vacation. Thanks for sharing them along with your fun descriptions.

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  5. How fun to experience your adventures through these pictures and commentary Your terrace is awesome! Although I miss seeing Bruce regularly amidst The Great Wall of Bruce, crafting stone work, my mind drifts to the excitement of your life adventure. We look forward to visiting Cuenca when the pandemic truly lifts. Sue and I, of course remain very busy. Hugs and love to you guys!

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  6. I thought I left a comment here but don’t see it. Like everyone else I love your description and photos. It’s awesome to follow along with you.

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  7. Dear Sharon and Bruce,

    Finally I am getting back to you. I absolutely loved your latest travel piece; you are a great team. Sharon, you write beautifully and Bruce, your photography is spell-binding! You made this little beach town come alive…I think I’d love to go there!

    I’m in Marco Island until the end of March. It is warm, sunny, peaceful, nice people and fairly quiet. However, it certainly is missing the foreign element which I hold in my health so dearly! I know my kids had hoped I would fall in love with Marco Island, but it just ain’t so! They would certainly prefer me stateside. Such a dilemma with which to deal.

    Before I would venture down here, I made sure that I received my two doses of the Pfizer vaccines, which I did. And, zero difficulties afterwards. One of my kids was just here for a few days, which was fun…visiting with just him…I had him all to myself. We golfed twice which is always a treat for me.

    A couple of my sisters are coming here in about three weeks, and that will be great. It has been 1.5 or almost two years since we have been with each other. I am hoping for more family visitors, but time will tell.

    That’s about it for now. Take good care of yourselves and continue your artistic endeavors which you do so well.

    Love,

    Judy

    >

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