Friday, 23 November 2012

Living the Life Ecuador coast


For the last week, we have had the pleasure of Evelyn's brother and sister staying with us here in Ecuador.
They both live and work in the New York area, so being here is a drastic change from their home, especially this year, because of hurricane Sandy. They both suffered the loss of power, flooding and no phone service. The storm also impacted how they could move about and get to their place of work. So, hopefully, when they return, the responding repair crews were able to get power, phone, and other services back to normal or close.

                                             The Birth of Jesus Bar and Restaurant in Salinas
                                            Evelyn and sister Carolyn loaded up with mud at
                                                  San Vicente Banos, Ecuador
                                                       Carolyn at mud bath area
                                                       Evelyn-being covered in mud does not
                                                       make you look thinner-proof positive!
                                             Standing in sun allowing the mud to dry
                                           Entrance to the baths with ticket booth on left
                                          Restaurant on right and fruit for fruit drinks on left
                                                                     The San Vincente Baths    

This past Saturday morning, my sister, brother, and I visited the San Vicente baths.  My sister and brother had never been to Ecuador before, and I had not yet been to San Vicente.   We caught a cab, and I asked the driver how much to take us to the baths.  He said,” Quince dollares”, which sounded okay to me, since someone had told me that it was 1 hour away from Salinas.  So, I agreed.    Past the Golden arches that lead one into Santa Elena, there was a dirt road which the driver took.  It took about 40 minutes to get there.  
                When we arrived there, we saw a few small restaurants in one area, the ticket booth in another area, and places to park, and the walkway which lead us to the large mineral water area with mud. It looked like a pond, but once you got in and waded into it, you soon found that the mud under your feet was soft and mushy.   The admission price for adults was $2 to use the mud bath and the showers and toilets and changing rooms, called vestidores  (sp.).   We paid the fee, and changed in the rooms into our bathing suits, and carried our belongings with us outside to the area of the mud bath.   There were small covered areas to put our belongings, and then we ventured into the mud.  
                  It was a lovely day with a nice breeze to keep it from getting too hot, and I noticed that a number of people were sitting on the steps with their feet in the muddy water.  There were a few men and one woman I saw with mud in their hair and face, covered from head to toe in mud.  So, I decided to wade in and put the mud into my hair and on my face, and cover my back and the rest of my body with the wonderful mud.   This mud is volcanic ash, mixed with mineral water, and it was thick enough to cover everything.   Of course, we had our bathing suits on, so we could not cover everything.  But my sister and I put mud on each other in the areas we could not reach, like our backs.  This mud is good for your skin-it purifies, and removes the toxins from your system if you let the sun dry the mud on your skin, which we did.  It felt good to let it dry on the skin, and took about 20-30 minutes to dry completely.
                   Once the mud was dry on our skin, we showered off, which took a while since the dried mud was a little difficult to get off quickly.   We were in showers with doors, so we could take off our bathing suits and really get the mud out of all the nooks and crannies of our suits and our bodies.  I had to have my sister check to make sure I got all of the mud out of my hair and ears.  Then we put our suits back on to get to the changing rooms, and dried off, and changed back into our clothes.   Our skin and hair felt so soft and I felt invigorated.
                    We could have spent $5 to have the hot mud massaged into our skin, but I think we did a good job rubbing it into our own skin.  We did not use the mineral water pool, which was also free.  We also did not use the vapor area, which had choices of aromatherapy fragrances, like eucalyptus or manzanilla- that was an extra $3, but I will use this the next time I go.
                     We had lunch there, which was reasonable.  Camaron ceviche was $6 with rice and plantains, and fried fish was $4 with the same sides.  Drinks were $1.   Then we asked for a taxi since they told us that no buses go there.  I was told that a bus does go there, but maybe not on week-ends, or maybe since it is still low season.  The taxi ride back to Salinas was $12, which was fine.  For the price, I will definitely go back to the San Vicente baths, since I found it relaxing and also invigorating, and your skin feels so good afterwards.

This month

The 14th president of the United states of America was borne in  1804 and his name was Franklin Pierce.