Saturday, 7 July 2012

Living the Life


                Our visit to the Museo de Ballenas                                                


Earlier this week, Jodie and I visited the Museo de Ballenas, or Whale Museum here in Salinas.  We live less than 3 blocks from this museum, so that is a plus right there. This museum is run by a wildlife enthusiast, Ben Haase, originally from Holland. Ben has been in Ecuador for the past 25 years, and in that time, has collected many bones of whales and dolphins. He started the museum 9 years ago.  He has erected a skeleton of a humpbacked whale right on the premises and also has a few baby dolphins preserved in formaldehyde-they died in the womb when their mothers perished.  You can tell by the enthusiasm with which he speaks that he loves these cetaceans, as he calls them. Cetaceans are the mammals that are best adapted to aquatic life and include the whales, dolphins, and porpoises.  Ben is a wealth of information about the different species of whales, dolphins , and coastal birds not only in South America, but in the Northern hemisphere as well. His museum is on the first floor, but he has rooms on the first and second floor that are chock full of whale bones, etc.  that are not on display; not yet, anyway.  What Ben needs is room for expansion of his magnificent museum.
        Ben and his Ecuadorian wife, Brenda, also run their restaurant, the Oyster Catcher, on the first floor, outside of the museum area, and serve shrimp and oyster dishes prepared by Brenda on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Something else to look forward to!
         They are both involved in Ecological Expedition, an Ecuadorian institution dedicated to ecotourism and its main goals include making people aware of the importance to conserve nature and offering opportunities to experience wildlife. This includes whale watching (June-October), dolphin watching, bird watching (ECUASAL salt lakes)-there are 125 sea and coastal bird species, South American sea lion colony at Punta Brava, Salinas, Chocolatera  (Ecuador’s westernmost main land point). When I first saw the sign Chocolatera, I thought it meant a place where they made chocolate and I wanted to go there immediately!   All of these activities can be done in Salinas- another reason I am happy we chose to live in Salinas.



Directional sign

The museum and restaurant entrance 

Ben Haase

Standing next to a whale skeleton 

Whale skulls 

A preserved Dolphin 
Big Ralphs Hostal & Restaurant


POACHED EGGS BENEDICT                        
SMOKED SALMON & SCRAMBLED EGGS                                                  
HOMEMADE WAFFLES WITH MAPLE SYRUP & ICE CREAM
GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD WITH BLUE CHEESE DRESSING & BACON
ASPARAGUS, FRENCH BEANS SALAD WITH POACHED EGG & MUSHROOMS
QUICHE OF THE DAY WITH GREEN BEANS SALAD     
EGG OMELETTE WITH MUSHROOMS, CHEESE OR HAM
BAKED CHEESE CAKE & ICE CREAM


Last, we'd like to inform that due Ralph's Dad visit,  the restaurant will be closed from July 11th to 18th.  

Thanks for your understanding.

Best Regards

Ralph & Andrea Jones


BIG RALPH'S HOSTAL & RESTAURANT
Dirección: Av. San Lorenzo y Av. Carlos Espinoza Larrea,
(Diagonal a Pizza Express)  Salinas - Santa Elena, Ecuador

Telefonos: (00593) 42 930910 / 096188111
Horario de atención: Mie - Sab 18H00 - 22H00
http://www.bigralphhostal.com/