Sunday, 14 October 2012

Living the Life Ecuador coast


That is the number of tea bags I have consumed since I have lived here. This is not a statistic that I would normally reach for, but I thought it was a number that is significant. It means that I only have a three months' supply of tea bags left at an average of 5 tea bags a day.

Here in Salinas, we too celebrate Octoberfest, but in a slightly different way. The country has a bank holiday or two this month, so the roads are busy. The beaches are packed and the bars and restaurants are making some money after a slow low season.
Soccer is in full swing and Ecuador won a match. Did you see the parade of the Emergency responders taking their trucks from Salinas to La Libertad and back down the Salinas Malecon?

If you missed it, here it is!!!

Pool cleaning
Well, we have been here for eight months and it seems that every week we have been doing something to the house or for the house.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. This last week, we had the pool drained, the old grout chased out and the new vinyl based grout put back in its place and a new hand rail installed. The whole process took a week, and now we are filling the pool- 20,000 gallons through a 1" hose takes a long time to fill a pool.
I have some images and video of the guys doing the work. At the same time as this, we have been looking for some furniture for our living room. It may come down to us having what we would like made locally- the search goes on.


We made a friend when we came here. His name is Richard, he is retired and traveling around, taking in the life from different countries. He was nice to talk to and very interesting to listen to. Richard recently went back to the US and said that he would be back next year. Richard, we enjoyed knowing you and hope to see you next year.

From left to right Richard, Ralph's Dad, Evelyn, in Ralph's Restaurant 
This weekend is a bank holiday, so we did our shopping early and took the dogs out to the beach before it gets filled with people. It is hard to walk them when the beach is busy,  because of their size. The locals get scared of them and some panic.

Restaurant Review

Six of us went out for a meal to a place that was recommended by Linda and Ron, who have since moved to Cuenca. I thank them for passing on this information.

This restaurant is located behind the Perla Del Mar. It is on a corner and has easy parking. You enter through a picket fence half gate in need of painting. The floor has red tile in place and bare concrete which makes the floor uneven in this area. To the right as you walk in is an area accessed by climbing two steps. The open plan is enclosed by a knee wall and what appears to be a fishing net; the entry gate opens out to the street and has no security. This is a concern in light of what took place only two blocks away a few months ago.

The tables and seats are of wood construction. The tables are small, but when joined together we sat six comfortably. They have two BBQ pits, one small and the other larger. When we arrived, there was a family of six and a couple already seated but not yet eating, so I was not able to see the food plated. On the walls they have hand woven art, fishing tackle and retro photographs. There is a small bar inside and the kitchen beyond; they do have a modern POS system.
The staff were polite and knowledgeable; the menu was clear and in Spanish, but the staff spoke enough English to provide clear descriptions of the items on offer.
With our order taken, bread and dips were brought to the table with our drinks. We were able to see the cuts of meat being cooked on the BBQ which added to the ambiance, but this sound was drowned out at times by the traffic noise.

Because this restaurant is off the Malecon we were not pestered by hawkers. This meant we could enjoy the meal and conversation. As the plates arrived, the staff were eager to make sure that we were happy with our order to the point that they forgot to bring out the condiments, which was not an issue.
The food portion was immense and my first comment was that the dogs will be happy. The meal came with a very basic salad- lettuce, tomato,cucumbers, and onion -no dressing, and no dressing offered.
The meat I ordered was undercooked, so it went back to the grill and came back just right with no fuss.The meat was brushed with a light sauce and tasted nice. The meat was tender and juicy, I asked for fries also which came on the same plate. The fries were frozen, not a deal breaker.
It took some time for me to eat what I could and have the rest bagged for the dogs. They offered only two desserts and both were ordered. One was a flan style cheese cake with raspberries,  and the other a meringue base with cream and fruit. Both were excellent, both are homemade and they vary from night to night.

The bill was printed from the POS printer, was clear and easy to read. This is nice when a group is eating, so each member can see what they have been charged. A service charge was included.
Our bill for 6 total was $105.00.

Where      Parrillada
                 Gral. Enriquez y Guayas y Quil frente al Hotel Marvento, Salinas, Ecuador, Telf.  2773749

Open       Low season - Wednesday through Sunday evenings,  High season- lunch and dinner. 

Rating     Overall 3 stars- this due to the lack of security.

Experience  very enjoyable.

I would return if  the security issue was addressed.

This month

This month ,1066 ,William the Conqueror fought the Battle of Hastings and won.

The founder of Pennsylvania was born this month in 1644.

A great Poet, e.e. Cummings, was born in 1894.

Dull photos 

If you have old photographs that have lost their luster, you can use a thin coating of clear shoe polish to bring them back again. Lightly buff with a soft cloth.