Confessions of a Lazy Blogger

Yes, you are all correct, I have turned into a slug…I found that going to the beach, sitting in the park or doing anything else besides updating my blog was necessary for my sanity. I have missed you my little blog buddies, we have spent hours together with pictures and thoughts on our life here in Ecuador…I have been a lazy blogger and promise that I will turn a new leaf and post at least once a week so that I can have a journal of our fun and so you all can see our lifestyle.

Here is one of my pepper plants that has produced very hot peppers like clockwork for the past two months, I was given these as a gift and have three like this and one that is an elongated pepper. Joe loves them sliced and put in vinegar and uses them every chance he gets on anything, or should I say everything, from eggs to steak.

We have found this year to be totally different as to the climate from last year. It started to rain back in January, it would rain from 4 am to 5 am. That lasted for a few weeks, then the rain lasted longer and was much heavier causing our driveway and car park area to look like a small pool. This along with the palms and vegetation around our porch has caused us to reconsider any green whatsoever in the home we hope to buy this year. Mosquitoes and flies were incredible. Just incredible. Did I mention incredible?

I know what you are saying – it looks so nice. But under every leaf there was a hidden creepy thing, if not a mosquito then slugs, if not slugs little frogs, yuck!  Not to mention what shows up in the dead of night to feed on it all…..I now understand totally why most of the yards in Salinas, Chipipe and now in Playas are paved, sand or tiled…We found ourselves not able to use our porch for most of the day with flies and mosquitoes constantly in our faces, flying around our food and the worse was thinking of getting dengue from all the mosquitoes. The local paper says that in the first few months this year there are double the cases of dengue from last year – something like 2000 and climbing.

We found these bug zappers in Super Tia for $3.99 and don’t know what we would have done if we didn’t. As you can see we do have his and hers so as not to cause any friction between us on the bug fighting front. They do not so much zap as pop. Kinda cool!!!

When looking on the internet for fly deterrents we found one site that said to fill a clear plastic bag with water add a penny (to keep flies away in the evening) and hang it around the area you wanted to help become a “fly free zone”. We put up six of these beauties on our porch hanging from the doors, the light fixtures and every possible area we could think of. Seems to work to a certain degree. The good thing is the house itself is pretty secure with screens on all the windows and doors so at night we only have a few mosquitoes to attend to before we retire…Joe is on mosquito patrol and does a great job, I think he just likes to hear the zapper pop those little buggers!


Salinas and the towns around us are what I would call arid – I know how can it be – arid on the coast? Well we are so far down the coast and so close to Peru that it is actually dry here. Annual rainfall is under 5 inches, less than Las Vegas.   Most yards are not grass but concrete with small concrete planter boxes around the inside walls as well as the outside walls.  As we walk around we see some beautiful flowering plants and trees.  Below are some of the pictures I have gotten over the past several months. Hope you enjoy!

Beach cleaning equipment – I’m guessing

The new beach cleaning tractor and sand sifter has been working overtime in the past several weeks running up and down both this beach and the Chipipe beach. It is a very slow process and takes several hours to do a portion of the beach as seen in this picture. But it picks up all those little things the vendors don’t get in their daily sweep – bits of broken glass, bottle caps and the like. A necessity as there are many barefoot soccer and volleyball games.

A stroll through Chipipe

After taking our laundry in, we decided to take a stroll through Chipipe.  We don’t often walk the streets behind the malecon because our fascination with the water, the beach and all that can be seen on the malecon keeps us going back for more.  But on this lovely morning we decided to stroll around the Chipipe area slowly; no real purpose,  just some quiet time.

We found a beautiful park. It is not very big but with some trees for shade, benches for a quick respite, and some beautiful flowers and birds.

The place was immaculate: not a leaf on the walkways, benches in good repair, trees and bushes pruned and no basura to be seen anywhere.

The above statue is of General G. Alberto Enriquez Gallo. According to the plaque he founded the Canton of Salinas.

It is a beautiful place just to sit and relax. Have missed the birdsong so prevalent in Panama, we will return.

We saw several birds on our visit.

This park is very close to the military base and we just could not help ourselves when we saw this whirlybird. Hope you had a great day also!

Mar y Sol Restaurante, Chipipe

A few times recently while out for our walk we have stopped to have a quick lunch at Mar y Sol – of course I either forgot to take pictures or didn’t have my camera with me. But last week I had the camera and remembered to take pictures.

It is a little restaurant at the end of the street directly across from the Catholic church as you first enter Chipipe.

On the other occasions that we have eaten almurzo at Mar y Sol this lovely woman has made a seafood soup that was overflowing with crab, mussels, calamari, fish and shrimp. I cannot praise the seafood soup enough. To see a bowl-full of seafood excellently prepared and as fresh as can be, in a $2 meal, well, I was flabbergasted. Today the soup was Fresh Queso (cheese) with beef, a substantial first course.

The segundo (second course or entrée) was two fillets of corvina (seabass) lightly battered and fried, with a side of rice, patacones and a green salad. This meal comes with a glass of fresh juice which was a tart lime. This is one of the places that serves your soup course first and gives you time to eat that before you entrée arrives to the table.

Just another eating adventure – I know is sounds like all we do is eat but why cook for two people? The shopping, preparation, actual cooking and then to clean up — I can’t possibly do that for $2 a meal… yes, I am retired but still my time could be better used walking the beach, snoozing in my hammock or reading Dirk Pitt novels…

Wendy and Dusty visit Salinas

Wendy is a self-proclaimed stalker!  Well I should say stalker of my restaurant reviews.  She and her husband Dusty are visiting our coastal city for the month. And she is using my reviews as a guide to their eating adventures. Lucky dogs – at their age they found a way to work long distance through the internet and you can do that as easy in Salinas as in Anywhere, USA.

We had a very nice lunch in Chipipe this afternoon. It was so refreshing to meet these lovely folks that have such a great attitude towards new and different cultures, foods and people.

Good luck to both of  you on your traveling adventures. Please keep me posted on places you found of interest, who knows where Joe and I may want to visit next.

Entertaining at Home

We enjoyed a lovely evening with our friends Monica and John on Friday evening. They live just a few blocks away in Chipipe.  It was one of those nights that was just  so nice you didn’t want it to end. Great company, we had a few cocktails, enjoyed some excellent conversation and then had dinner.

Monica is Ecuadorian from Guayaquil while John is an expat from the US.

I could not resist and made a cake similar to a Boston Cream Cake with vanilla pudding between the layers and a mocha cream frosting with chocolate shavings.  I did send the rest home with Monica as she had family in with children.  They could use it more than Joe and I.  Now for one of the best pictures, yes you guessed it, THE CAKE!