Interesting that she seems to look Oriental, and they seem to be very good friends.
Imagine what the artisan must of thought when he received the commission for this pitcher: “You want me to make it look like what!??”
Well, friends, I have successfully relocated from Quito to Bahia de Caraquez (BAH-yia day Cah-RAH-quez) via a short one hour flight to Manta, then a slightly longer drive from Manta. Bahia is located on a peninsula on the Northwesten coast with a bay one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. I am esconsed in the Hostal Coco Bongo with an assortment of expats from California, South Africa and Australia.
I had been warned about driving in Ecuador, but no warnings are truly adequate. The Ecuadorian drivers apparently receive training at Japanese kamakazi schools. The right-of-way rules have been copied from China, where it is determined by the person who gets their fender in the lane first.
A single yellow line means you can pass freely; a double yellow line means you must pass with caution. Although I don’t believe there is a word for caution in Spanish. They usually only pass in curves where there is at least 100 yards of visibility. I believe the thinking is: if the oncoming car moves far to the right, and the car being passed moves far to the right, there is plenty of room astride the center line. I can’t deny the validity of that, but it does take a bit of getting used to.
The roads are mostly good when they aren’t filled with cattle. (See picture above.) When there is road construction, the Ecuadorians prefer to treat that as a surprise gift. There are no signs announcing the change from paved four-lanes to gravel anarchy. I suppose they think if you can’t tell the road is under construction, a sign wouldn’t be of any help.
The oddest characteristic is the random appearance of enormous speed bumps. Occasionally these are preceded by signs saying “Reducez de Velocidad”, but more often than not, they are announced by a bone jarring thud that leaves you wondering if you have killed an invisible anaconda. In fairness, I should say they are almost always marked with yellow or white paint that can be seen from at least three feet.
All in all it was an exciting journey marred only by a missed turn that led me onto a gravel road through the small town of Crucita. I had prepared for this by learning the Spanish for “Do you know the way to Bahia?” and “Is this the way to Bhaia?” Unfortunately, I had not learned the Spanish for the responses to those questions?
When I asked a Crucita native, Como llego a Bahia?, he unleashed a blizzard of Spanish and arm-waving directions. I’m pretty sure I asked him “when kilometers”, instead of “how many kilometers”, but he kindly forgave my ignorance and continued with his unintelligible word avalanche. Finally, I understood enough to make it to the next correct turn, and after several more stops for course correction, I arrived in Bahia in the late afternoon.
Hope this finds all well; more driving and picture taking today.
That’s where all the pretty pictures are!
Didn’t get ito the club; since it was across the street from the convent, it probably wasn’t serving my kind of happiness, anyway
Couldn’t leave Quito without a shot of a cute kid. Notice the tiny ring on his finger and the Tweety Bird hat!