Bar Facal and The Locks Fountain

Bar Facal was founded in 1882 in downtown Montevideo. We stopped there one morning for a quick breakfast on one of our outings.  This the Italian Cappuccino and was served with churros.On the sidewalk outside the bar near to the fountain, is a full sized bronze statue of Carlos Gardel, a French composer, singer/songwriter and actor and the most prominent figure in the history of tango.

The Locks Fountain is located at the corner and was an amazing site.  Couples take a padlock, marked with their initials and lock it to the fountain. They say if you do this you will stay together and come back to visit the fountain.

Starbucks First Store in Uruguay

Starbucks Coffee opened their first Uruguay store in Montevideo Shopping in April of this year.

We happened to walk by and saw this incredible line out the doors waiting for a cup of coffee.  Good luck, the last time I was caught waiting in line was at Disney World in the 90’s.  Never again.

Café de Pacoche

One of the other great things we discovered while in Manta was Café de Pacoche. The Loaiza family had a display of their coffee set up on the malecon. You could smell the coffee from a block away – that and the smiling faces of this lovely family attracted us to their booth. the coffee beans were dark and rich and had that certain  glossy sheen to them. Smelled so good that we bought a pound bag and have enjoyed it every morning since.

One son, Diego, spoke excellent English so we talked for a bit. When I started running out of the coffee I emailed them to find out if we could get several bags delivered to our home by Servientrega.  Surprise! Saturday morning Diego and his mother stopped by with six bags of their excellent coffee. You can almost smell the richness through the photo.

San Clemente 6.1a.2014 003They were on their way back to Manta. What service – having them deliver right to our door. If you are interested in contacting Diego he can be reached at 09 9376 2472 or 052 626 819 or email


Dolphins Passing By San Clemente

We take our coffee almost every morning down by the water and we have what I call “surf therapy”. That is my idea of starting the day off right. Some peaceful time to kick-start our days. Most mornings it is far from quiet with the surf, birds, fishermen and Joe and I gabbing away. This has been our routine for almost every day the past two years. In all that time we have never seen dolphin swimming by so this is very exciting.

Our first sighting was while we were staying at Hotel San Jacinto. Almost every morning for the week we stayed there we had our breakfast on the outdoor deck and saw these beautiful, graceful creatures come by. We thought this was an every day occurences but soon found out that was not so and have longed to see them once again. How lovely to be given this gift. I sure do appreciate their appearance after such a long absence.  Maybe this week they will visit again.


Dolphins and Eggs

While staying at the Hotel San Jacinto the waitress spotted these dolphins making a pass by the outdoor restaurant one morning. First I must tell you that the breakfast served at this hotel was excellent eggs, toast – yes I said toast with butter and jam, fresh fruit juice different each morning and coffee con leche or you could order any of the Ecuadorian breakfast specialties.  Back to the dolphins: How graceful and gentle these beautiful creatures were as they jumped and splashed by our breakfast table.  How great is this place?

Here are a few more pictures of the courtyard at the hotel.

Cafe con Leche Anyone?


Coffee (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

When we were staying in Puerto Lopez our hostel included breakfast with the room rate. Each morning our first thought was that cup of excellent fresh ground coffee from our hosts’ finca. It was dark, rich and downright wonderful! Our friends from Las Tunas, Pat and her son Scott Creasey introduced us to Manabi coffee from Jipijapa which had that same rich flavor. Here in Playas the local Super Tia offers two bins of fresh roasted beans, the Manabi brand and the second is Loja.

My favorite is the Cafe de Manabi. It must be the same coffee that both Itapoa and then the Creasey family served. For under $4 a pound it is a find.

In the old days when I purchased Starbucks for $11 a pound I got the whole bean and ground just enough for that morning’s coffee. Here it works to buy a pound each week ground at the store. Did I say lazy? I am merely conserving energy!