Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Samai Lodge is way up a hill, in the cloud forest. Our cabin is surrounded by trees with birds and insects flying around. No drapes on the windows so we can see nature in all its glory at all times of day and night. Actually, the insects can be a bit of a problem. We have bites everywhere.
The pool is all mine since we are the only guests for now. We walk around the lodge and see the other cabins here and there.

The next day we go to Montanita, a seaside village known for its good surf. And for the madness of sex, drugs, and rock&roll. Hundreds of young people arrive to hang out, surf, meet. It's cheap and friendly. Noisy. Almost a throwback to the 60s.

Back at the lodge we have dinner with two new guests and play cards. The next day, as we prepare to leave, I fall down a number of steps - rough steps made of stones and rocks. I hit my head twice on the stones and land finally where David is frantic. How am I going to get out of here I think. I don't pass out or black out. People start coming to help: what to do? bring the first aid kit! where are the band aids? bring a washcloth to clean her wounds! A group of young men who work nearby fashion a stretcher out of a canvas and carry me up to the reception area where they deposit me on a sofa. I'm bleeding from my leg, elbow, face, scratches on my side, arms, I'm a mess.

A doctor is brought up who checks me and declares I'm ok. Not really but we must leave. With gauze and band aids all over we travel to Guayaquil for three hours in a car. When I walk into the hotel I have to explain to the receptionist and bellboys why I look like I do. I spend the afternoon in bed while David goes to sightsee a bit. That evening I venture out to the malecon and we take a trike ride up and down the malecon. It's really awesome! The next day we take a tour bus to see Guayaquil a bit more. I really don't feel like traipsing around on my own two feet. Besides, it's hot and humid. And it rains.

We leave Guayaquil and fly to Cuenca. The hotel is grand but I'm not in the mood. We go to the Centro Historico one day and the next day we take a tour bus again. Those buses are good to get an idea of a city. And I don't have to walk. I realize I'm ready to go home and Cuenca doesn't look so interesting to us. We fly home on Wednesday - an all day affair, from 8 in the morning to past midnight.

My left eye is black, my wounds still need tending, but I'm slowly recuperating. My back hurts a lot however. And it will hurt for a long time.

I'm glad I saw Ecuador. But I'm even gladder to be home.

Monday, March 7, 2016


After Quito we fly to Manta, leaving the high altitude for the Pacific coast. There is nothing to do in Manta, so we drive south to Puerto Lopez, a "ramshackle town" as The Lonely Planet describes it. We are here because we want to go to Isla de la Plata ("the poor man's Galapagos" as TLP says) but it turns out the expedition to the island would be difficult and long. That night we go to a restaurant recommended by some Americans that is high up in a lodge. The view is fantastic. The bugs continue to annoy us.

Instead of Isla de la Plata we go to Salango, a small fishing village, the next day. The taxi driver takes us to his cousin for a tour of the island but there aren't enough people that day to make it profitable. I sit in a hammock under a tarp and watch the waves roll in and out. It's too hot and humid. Fishing vessels abound. David is restless and goes for a walk after dealing with a lady who wants to give us a tour with her son's boat. She insists. But wants too much for it. We pass and finally she leaves us alone. After a long time I hear David calling my name. He's in a truck, coming to fetch me.

He found a restaurant whose owner is a Canadian named Melody. It's cooler inside and the food is good. Then her husband gives us a tour of Salango island where we see the "famous" blue-footed boobies (which are the reason we came to this country), frigate birds, pelicans. Many of each on the rocks, in the water. The tiny power boat shakes more than I like it. We wear orange safety vests. The sailors assure me it's fine. Upon our return to land I call the taxi driver to take us back to our hotel in Puerto Lopez. The hotel is good, facing the ocean. We hear the waves all night. We see the blue waters all day. I spend the next day at the pool, playing cards, reading.

Samai Lodge sounds wonderful. Can't wait to get there.