Monday, 8 October 2012

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

Did you know?

The roads here in Ecuador running between the cities are well maintained, and for the small toll of $0.25.
Included in the toll fee is a service; this service is if you break down or are in trouble; there is a number on the receipt. Call it from your cell phone and they will come; the one drawback is that you will need to know some Spanish, but such a deal.

Many people say that you can live in Ecuador on $600.00 a month, but would you want to? In the next blog, I hope to have a score card of our experience living in Ecuador and what lead up to our move. I thought it was going to be easy putting it together, but there have been so many variables that it is taking me longer than I thought.

One of the benefits of living in a house is that you get to see and enjoy the local life. Part of the life is that we have vendors coming around the streets selling fruits,vegetables, fish, lobster, and a host of other things. Here you will find a video I made of a vendor coming to the house selling dorado, a locally caught fish. I hope that you find it informative and entertaining.

Health care

Here is a topic that is on the mind of any traveler, visiting outside of their native country. Where can I get treatment, and will it be as good as I get at home?
Well, since we have lived here, we have had the need to use the health care system here, and not found it wanting.
We have had a doctor do a house call for $30 and found that doctor to be very competent. The medications that were prescribed were readily available in the local pharmacy. Now, both the doctors and the medicine were obtained at a very reasonable cost. Let me put it in perspective: when we lived in California, our co-pay would have been higher than the cost of the visit and meds.

New people

When we meet new people here in Salinas from another country or from another state, we try to make them comfortable by introducing ourselves and passing on any local information that we think would help them while they are here. One of the things we volunteer is that we do not have a car and do not need one. This is to some a point of amazement; we explain that for now, we are getting around just fine using the local buses, taxis, and walking.
Another question we get asked is, "Where is it safe to eat?" This is a tricky question because we have eaten all over the place and have not gotten sick yet.  So, the most diplomatic way to answer the question is to ask a question back.
"Where would you want to eat or where can you eat?"
You can be bold and eat anywhere, or you could be safe and just eat in the gringo hangouts. If you are thinking of living here, or are you just here for fun and a vacation, you may think a bit differently for each of these answers.

Trip to Guayaquil 

On a recent trip to Guayaquil, Evelyn had to go for some tests at the doctor's clinic. We had a 12:00 midday appointment, so we got the bus from Salinas and a taxi from the terminal, which all went very smoothly.  The test was carried out and Evelyn did not feel like shopping, so we got a taxi back to the terminal, had a great lunch for $3.50 each, and then made our way to get the bus back to Salinas, and that would be a whole day gone.
The bus service here is great! For half the amount it costs to cross the SF Bay Bridge, we are able to travel in a luxury bus with reclining seats, bathroom, and TV. They play up to date movies in Spanish, but when they see us, they put up the English subtitles.
We have used this service a number of times before, and found it to be very good.  The price for a ticket one way is $3.55; this takes you in comfort 124 Kilometers, such a deal.
On our return trip, we had an encounter with the national police. They had a roadside check point where the bus was pulled over to the side of the road and boarded by the police. One of the police officers issued an order to get off the bus in Spanish. We worked out what was said by the fact that the other passengers were getting off. The men were moved to one side, and the women and children were moved to the other side.
Officers boarded the bus and searched it, and then moved on to the men who were searched along with their bags. The women were not searched and allowed to get back on the bus. No explanation was offered by the police; then the men were able to get back on the bus and we were then on our way to Salinas.
A street in Guayaquil 

I liked this door

Looks very old

Fun and music here 

Looks like a fun bar

Church in the same square as the water feature  

Water feature  in Guayaquil 

This is a building in Guayaquil  

Men being searched by national police


In the news were the forest fires in Ecuador, which were started by four youths who have been caught. The damage that they caused stretched the fire service here in Ecuador to its limit; towns and villages had to be evacuated.
A combination of air tankers and ground crews were able to contain the fires, but not for several weeks.   With the support of volunteer firefighters (our pool guy is a volunteer firefighter and was called in to help fight the fires), no lives were lost, but structures, businesses and homes were.

Bombero shouting for help