New Town, New House

Once you’d resolved to go, there was nothing to it at all.” 
― Jeannette WallsThe Glass Castle

Crucita from the paragliding point. We will be where the land goes left.

Crucita from the paragliding point. We will be where the land goes left.

We recently got back from Crucita which is a 5.5 hour bus trip from Playas each way. We were tired after all that. We actually went to Portoviejo where our nephew, Mario, used to live for a while. We stayed in a hotel for 2 nights. His father-in-law picked us up at the bus terminal and took us to a place to have coffee and a sandwich. It was about 9:30 PM at that point. I was almost too tired to eat. We split a Cuban sandwich, which was as good as the ones you get in Miami at La Carreta. then we went to a nice hotel for $50.00 a night including breakfast. While eating breakfast, Leo and I took pictures of each other and a woman came up and asked us in English if we wanted her to take a picture of the both of us, which she did. She was from CA, and when we said we were from CT, she said she would be in CT and MA next week taking her daughter to Fairfield University near Bridgeport where Leo worked and her daughter plays volleyball. She was going to Northeastern (Sean’s school) and Holy Cross (Sean’s Dad’s school). Small world.

Our hotel room in Portoviejo.

Our hotel room in Portoviejo.

At 8:30 AM, Colon, Mario’s father-in-law, picked us up to go look at rentals. We looked at one his brother owned-one house from the beach. It turned out to be our second option. We looked at a house in San Jacinto in front of the beach which was currently rented. We started talking to the renter and Colon realized he knew the man, also Ecuadorian. They hadn’t seen each other in 20 years.  The man, Jorge, was married to a Ashley, girl from the Tampa area and they were there with 2 of their teen-aged kids on vacation to see the Ecuadorian family. We stayed there for about 2 hours talking to them. The house was nice, but you needed a car there-too far to walk to the buses.

Colon's brother's house that was going to be our second option,

Colon’s brother’s house that was going to be our second option,

Earlier that day we had made arrangement to meet the caretaker of our first choice house. He was very nice and showed us around. We took video. The next-door neighbors were at home, so we went over to say hello. We found out that they own the whole development and even had owned the house we were looking at. They downsized. There are only the two houses. There are people who own other lots. The neighbors are going to build a few townhouses that border the river and can see the ocean, too. The house we picked is very large. It has 3 bedrooms and 4 baths. One bath is outside on an outside covered patio and very big. There is a shower on the stairs leading to the ocean near the coconut trees to rinse off the sand after the beach.

Our view. Beach is on the other side of the gate.

Our view. Beach is on the other side of the gate.

On the first floor is a kitchen, dining room, living room and two bedrooms,each with a bath. There is a wet bar room off the dining room. All surrounding the house and especially in the front are tile patios and walkways. There are gardens on all sides. In front by the beach is a pavilion with built in benches overlooking the ocean.

Side of the house.

Side of the house.

On the second floor is the master.There is a front deck off the master viewing the ocean. An extra room off the master and another sitting room with a fireplace off the master, plus a bath.

 The front of the house, leading to the beach.

The front of the house, leading to the beach.

The third floor is a big deck. Hopefully we will be able to see the whales from there. We were able to negotiate a better price and got them to OK our using it as a bed and breakfast, something I have always wanted to do. All this we got for much less than the one bed, one bath, 1970’s apts. we lived in in CT. So we will be moving in on August 15th. The day we had with Colon ended up being very productive and enjoyable because Colon is a very nice person. He showed us some good places to eat lunch and dinner, which we enjoyed. All the places were overlooking the water. One interesting thing I noticed that all the restaurants there put a horseshoe just at the entrance to their place on the step. I guess a horseshoe is good luck around the world.

Colon's lunch in Crucita.

Colon’s lunch in Crucita.

Leo's lunch in Crucita. I had soup.

Leo’s lunch in Crucita. I had soup.

Horseshoe for good luck.

Horseshoe for good luck.

We got back to our hotel at 9:30 PM and of course we were exhausted. We ate breakfast again the next AM and took a taxi to the bus terminal in Portoviejo to go to Guayaquil. That leg of the trip was express and took 3.5 hours.

Leo and Joyce at breakfast.

Leo and Joyce at breakfast.

Now a little info about the bus. On an earlier blog I mentioned with the crazy driving, I’d be better off in a bus…well that is debatable. We rode at night going to Portoviejo and we sat right behind the driver. There is a curtain and window between us. All I could imagine was getting in an accident and flying thru that window. I tried not to watch, but they pass in the tightest of spaces. I could see oncoming traffic (lights) thru the curtain. Terrifying! We did not know that you get assigned seats, so I told Leo to make sure we were in the middle on the other side of the bus from now on. At the beginning of the ride it was light out, so I could see the countryside. I sat there feeling so fortunate to be there doing this adventure at this point in my life. Who would have predicted this even a few years ago? The area we were in eventually was an agricultural valley. You could see the mountains on three sides. Those were the mountains we were going up and down on that bus, taking corners at who knows what speed in the dark. I did try to rest and close my eyes, but I couldn’t do it for long and I’d be watching the lights coming at me. The bus was a pretty new looking bus.

One of the buses we rode.

One of the buses we rode.

The leg of the trip from Playas to Guayaquil was different. The bus going to Guayaquil was also good and it stopped at about 4 different towns, getting off the main road we usually take with Josue. At each stop, people would get on the bus, but so would vendors selling this, that and the other. They go up and down the aisles shouting what they had. People bought the stuff. They ride the bus for a while with the people until the bus stops to let them off. Every stop was like that. That is why the 1 hour trip took 2 hours. Welcome to Ecuador. On the way home, we got a Playas bus that was like a chicken bus, it stopped everywhere and the bus was marginal. But we did sit in the middle on the passenger side-not on the driver side. Oh, we got to ride all these buses ½ price because we are oldies. One perk!

Inside the huge terminal was like a Mall.

Inside the huge terminal was like a Mall.

The bus terminal in Guayaquil was so big! It was like a huge Mall inside with stores, restaurants, and a food court. We had mentioned that American Fast Food Places are often here. In one food court place I saw a girl giving chicken samples on a toothpick and I said I bet that is Bourbon chicken and sure enough it was. We ate there. Most of the food was the same. The bourbon chicken was just the same. My sister, Mary, introduced me to bourbon chicken and we always got it when we were at a Mall.

Joyce eating Bourbon Chicken. Cajun Restaurant in back. Just like home!

Joyce eating Bourbon Chicken. Cajun Restaurant in back. Just like home!

I had mentioned previously, that oldies get to use the bathrooms first. Not in Guayaquil in the bus terminal. Those ladies pushed and shoved and cut in front of you. So I watched this for a while and said, “When in Rome…” I got a stall shortly. On the way back, I knew the drill, so I didn’t have to wait at all.   Another interesting fact. When we were leaving the bus terminal to go to the gov’t building we asked at the information booth how much to pay for the taxi. They said maximum, $4.00. The taxi drive said, $4.00, so we said OK. Then going back to the bus terminal by taxi, we paid $3.00. Go figure. Welcome to Ecuador. We did pick up our passports at 2:00 and got in line for the next process. They closed the door at 4:30 with us still in there. They put on 2 people to process what we were doing, so it went faster (they wanted to go home, I guess). When we finally got to the window, he said you can’t do this now the cashier is closed now. Leo put up a fit and the worker left the area and came back and continued processing. First he said our support was insufficient, which it was not and again Leo protested, he left the desk and came back and continued to look through our papers. Finally, he said the letter we wrote to ask for residency was wrong it needed our passport numbers on it. Really, I think he was told to find something wrong, because the cashier was closed. Nowhere in all I read did it say to have your passport numbers on that letter. So back we must go. Welcome to Ecuador.  We have decided to get our papers done in Manta over near where we are moving. We heard it goes more smoothly. We’ll see.

Seventy year old woman carrying a backpack. Government Building in back.

Seventy year old woman carrying a backpack. Government Building in back.

Inside the government building waiting for 3.5 hours. Not sure that  smiley face helps.

Inside the government building waiting for 3.5 hours. Not sure that smiley face helps.

25 Comments
  1. My goodness you are certainly having an adventure, and I am too through reading your blog 🙂 The house you are going to rent sounds and from the pictures looks beautiful. Hope the bed and breakfast will be very enjoyable for you too.

    • Thanks Phyllis, Glad you are enjoying our adventure vicariously, too. The bed and breakfast will be small 2 rooms at most,so I hope it won’t be overwhelming. Leonardo showed the house to his boss and he is coming to Ecuador, so we may have our first guest lined up. We’ll see. Hope all is well with you.

    • Hi Joan, Thanks glad you like the house. Now you can come and visit. I am excited. What are you doing this summer?

    • Thanks, Christian. Accepting bookings soon!! There is always a spot for you!! Thanks for the tip on AirBNB. I have been looking at various places like that FlipKey, Booking.com etc.trying to decide which is best for us. Hope all is well with you.

  2. House is stunning . you r just trying to tempt me aren’t you???? And it’s working if only I could pack my own food:)

  3. Looks like you found the ideal house and location. You guys are really on an adventure of your lives and we are so happy for you, although we miss you very much. Will try to reach you again by Skype. Love to talk with you in real life. Love and miss you.

    • Yes, it is a great house. we miss you very much also. Looking forward to talking on Skype. Hope you are having a good summer. Love, Joyce and Leo

    • Thanks Ashley, we can hardly wait to move in. I am glad you are enjoying the blog. It is good to hear from you.

        • Don’t know where we will be in 2 years since we are renting the house. We have a commitment for the house for a year, so we will see what happens after that. We are so new to Ecuador (6 weeks) so we are just trying out places to see how it goes. We like the looks of Crucita and it will be great being so close to the beach. I bet you are anxious to get building! Our friends here in Playas are from Calgary, Canada and have bought a lot in Playas are are hoping to build very soon. They are loving it here. How long were you here in Ecuador before you bought the property? Are you coming to visit again before you move here? Hope you follow us on our blog. Joyce and Leo

          • Last may this year, I was in Crucita to do the paper transfer for the land (deed). I went to Crucita a couple a time before to buy the lots. I did the west cost from Jama to Manta, but I decided to buy in Crucita because the location …near to Portoviejo and manta (airport). I can take a flight from Canada to Quito and another one to manta (1/2 hour from Crucita) and the flight from quito to manta is very cheap ($50) around. You have a lot of thing is will be good in Crucita ( they should build a new Highway from manta to San Janito (passthru crucita) and you have a new condos project around 1000 feet south of you house will start to build soon ( http://www.crucitadelmar.com).
            Crucita is a nice quiet spot and a good investment for the future.

          • I agree with you about the location of being close to Manta and Portoviejo–city when you need it and quiet to come home to. I did hear about the highway which is a good thing and Audrey told us about the condo units. That will enhance the value of your lots and house when you build it.

  4. We are anxiously awaiting your arrival Joyce & Leo – It will be good to have neighbors – We met Real when he was here buying the two lots – We will be starting the first of the five townhouses we will build along the river – start date should be around 25th of August with completion around the end of November –
    If you are here on Saturday the basket weaving workshop (using palm fronds) is at our casa and you are more than welcome to join – I’m expecting around 18 folks or so- and actually four men are coming – Roni from Mompiche is the instructor – it is $10.00 per person and everyone brings their own lunch, snack, drink – but don’t worry I can have something for you and Leo as well if you would like – Have a safe trip to your new casa – (A nice way to meet lots of folks all in one place) – See you in a couple days –

    • Thanks Audrey, for writing. We are anxious to get there and see you and Bill, too. Glad to hear you are getting to start your townhouses. They are going to be in a beautiful spot. I am up for basket weaving ( Leo, not) and meeting the folks from Crucita. It sounds like fun.I couldn’t believe Real found my blog. It was nice to have him comment. I will take you up on the lunch, just because I have no idea where we will be with food on that next day.Thanks for your thoughtful offer. Three days and counting. See you!

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