At one point on the trip we were stopped for construction and the huge diversity of Ecuador was demonstrated once again when the driver of the car in front of us & his passengers got out to stretch their legs. The driver was decked out in a complete hip/hop outfit; baggy pants, wide/flat brimmed baseball type hat and black & white checkered coat. His passengers however (3 women), were all in the traditional costumes typical of the coast (black sheathed skirts, black vest, white blouse, heavy necklaces).
Tired after our trip, we checked into our hostal ($25 a night if we stay 7 days), changed, took a long walk on the beach and went over to the Cevicheria mini-village where Brian had fried rice with oysters & Shelley had a huge plate of pan fried fish - delicious! The cost was $8 for both of us.
Our real challenge was to find grass for Fredi to do her business on (lots of sand; little grass). That evening when Brian took Fredi out for her last walk of the day, Shelley asked him on his return, ¨What took so long?¨"Every pretty girl on the beach now knows Fredi´s name", he replied.
The next morning we got up to our typical holiday routine: long walk in the early morning before it got too hot, breakfast at the bar down the street (fruit, bread, eggs & coffee; $4 for the both of us), under an umbrella in 2 lounge chairs for several hours of reading ($3 for umbrella & chairs - all day), a nap, another walk, dinner, watching the locals play soccer on the beach, etc.
Our bed is covered in sand. Between our feet & Fredi's mustach we're carrying in at least 1/2 a bucket a day. Our knees are bright pink & Brian is a vivid pink all over. Shelley tried to get sun screen on him yesterday but he macho'd out. There'll be no argument about it today however. Fredi's just a tad nervous about all the dogs wandering around town. We've never heard that low rumbling growl out of her so much as we have in Salinas. She's making sure no strange dog bothers us!
Awakened at 4:30 this morning, Brian finally looked out the window at the third set of disturbances to see what there was to see. It was the Ecuadorian Navy (!) jogging down the street, shouting cadence & generally making quite the spectacle of themselves. Funny; Fredi has been quite nervous about everything new and waking us on a regular basis for the last couple of days, but she's finally settled in and the Navy didn't bother her at all. She's discovered sleeping on the floor is much cooler than sleeping in the bed with us and she's even resigned herself to doing her business on the concrete. The grass that's here has burrs in it that stick in her hair & she doesn't like the process of removing them one little bit.
We're off on a sight seeing self-tour today. We're both so pink we figured a day away from the beach wouldn't hurt at all. We ended up in a place recommended by some friends of ours called the Hosteria Farallon Dillon in Ballenita. The cab ride from Salinas cost $5 each way but we got a cars eye view of the area. It's a wonderful, charming Hostal with separate small cabins instead of rooms for $48 for a couple. There's a maritime museum attached to it. We were given a personal tour through the museum & the delightful man who gave the tour explained the history of the place in that an American adventurer had started it shortly after discovering a sunken sailing ship off the coast.
So far Shelley has managed to buy a pair of capri pants, a white dress, 2 key chains and sundry other items basically from her chair on the beach. "Except for having to shake your head ´No´ every 5 minutes, I quite like the vendors on the beach" Shelley commented to Brian.
Concerned about Fredi overheating, we brought a water sprayer with us and while we're on the beach pretty much keep Fredi misted. We noticed yesterday that her hair has bleached out and she now has a wonderful beach dog look about her. It's pretty conclusive however, that Fredi is not a water dog. We've taken her into the ocean twice so far and she'll tolerate it but won't step one inch into the water without being carried. She looks just like a chihuahua when her hair is plastered to her sides. She's a real trooper though with the beach & the heat & the sand & the strange room etc. as she's now completely settled into our new routine.The sleepy little seaside town of Salinas expands, as do most seaside towns, on the weekend. The cars pour in from Guayaquil. The restaurants where you were the only customer are now full. Various companies descend, hawking their products, complete with bikini babes wearing the company logo. The number of umbrellas & chairs on the beach doubles and then doubles again. Taking Fredi out for her 6:00 a.m. walk Brian spies several parties that haven't ended from the night before. Still, there are very few non-Ecuadorians: a crazed gringo babbling Dutch to himself carrying his bundles down the street, another group of clean-cut European young women & us. We're really enjoying our time at the beach but are starting to miss our own bed, our regular routines.
If you're interested in more photos from Salinas, checkout our FaceBook pictures at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2047903&id=1168970486&l=16a388d39b