Sunday morning, after breakfast, Jill and Sy came by to return our power washer. They brought with them many plant cuttings that we later planted that morning. It was very thoughtful of them to bring so many plants. I had so many that I gave some to Audrey, next-door.
Sunday afternoon, we decided to go to La Loma, a restaurant at the top of the mountain where people jump off and go paragliding. We had been to the lookout there one Sunday with Olayita and Colon. When we were there we saw several expats, so we figured we would see people there. We asked Audrey and Bill our next door neighbors to go, but Bill wanted to watch football, so Audrey came with us. We took the bus about 12:00. We got off at the far end of the Malecon to try to pay our bill for the food we had catered last Sun. We have been there numerous times, but could never connect with the owners. They were open Sunday afternoon, so we were able to pay. Then Leo, Audrey and I walked along the Malecon towards the other end of it, looking for a tuk tuk, motorcycle with carriage attached. We stopped several, but none would take us up the steep hill to get to La Loma. We continued to walk. I have noticed that the weather is changing and it is getting hotter and sunnier. About 1/2 way there, I realize that my arm facing the sun was burning, so we walked on the other side of the street where we would encounter shade periodically under the roofs that went over the sidewalk. We walked about another 1/4 of the way when we saw a taxi. Usually there are not taxis in Crucita. We grabbed it and it took us to La Loma for $2.00. There were quite a few people there including Joy and Harold which we joined. The table was in the shade, so I was happy. Joy told us there would be a few bands there that day. We all ordered food. Joy, Harold, and Audrey all ordered hamburgers, something rare here, but Leo and I ordered other food on the menu. As the day progressed the bands started up, other expats came and joined us. Many, many Ecuadorians came too and there were people everywhere. It was a jumping little place. As the sun dropped in the west, the sun kept closing in on us and eventually there was no shade and I was burning on every exposed spot on my body. There were times I looked at the view from that mountain that overlooked the city of Crucita and you could see all the way to our house and further, and I just marveled at the fact that I was in Ecuador enjoying all these sights and sounds and activities. I am a lucky person. One note, the first band sang American songs, so the expats were rocking out. The second band sang Spanish songs, but we were enjoying the rhythms and sounds even if we could not understand the songs. (Leo excluded, he could understand the songs). Seriously, I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I have come to Ecuador to have these new experiences at my age. At home I would be in the house most of the time, bored, especially in the winter. We would have fun seeing our friends, but the level of activity was not like it is here.I guess it is like going to an over 55 community where they have all sorts of activities. A teacher friend has a mother and father in a 55+ community in Portland and the parents love it because there is so much going on socially.
Anyway, when it was time to go, Joy and Harold said they would give us a ride to the bus stop. Joy has a tuk tuk, so she drives the motorcycle. While Leo, Audrey and I get in the carriage area, Harold sat in a space behind our seat that was like an open trunk (Mind you, Harold will be 90 in Feb.). Everyone at the outdoor restaurant was looking at us, one guy came up and took a picture with Joy, because women don’t usually drive tuk tuks. Others were snapping pictures with their phones from a few steps back. At first Joy had to back out. She was getting all sort of help since the space was tight because of all the people there. Also, she was stalling out every time she tried to go forward (Must be us fat Americans-well Leo and I are really the only ones overweight on that Tuk Tuk). Someone said she had her foot on the brake. Anyway, we made it off. Then we got to the road which was like an old-fashioned washboard. God, the cab rocked back and forth so violently that I thought we were going the turn over. After a short distance, we came to a smoother road, but it did have lots of potholes and Joy maneuvered around each one getting us safely down the hill. All the cars beeped at her, to say hello, I guess-she waved at them. We are all laughing at this crazy sight and experience. Joy took us to the bus stop at the North end of the Malecon and waited with us until bus came. Before the bus came, Jimmy came by in his jeep and offered us a ride. We said we would take him up on the offer. We are realizing that there are so many thoughtful people here, both Ecuadorian and expats.They are always offering a helping hand. We got home about 5:45, so we had a long day. We watched American TV before going to bed.
On Monday AM when we were having breakfast on the porch, we noticed that the newest expat couple that we met at Pizza Night, had left a note with their phone number on it on the table. They had dropped by at 2:00 on Sunday, when we were at La Loma. I had told them to drop by any time, so I am glad they did but sorry we missed them. I will call them later to connect.