Surprise Visitors at our Gate

Yesterday afternoon about 15 riders surprised Joe and I at our gate. There was a parade in San Jacinto the next town down from us and our dear friend Patricia and another long time friend Pablo, decided to bring their crew to our home for a visit.  After a short welcome, we brought out the beer for our dusty travelers and shared a laugh or two.

The most amazing thing besides the beautiful horses and some pretty fancy silver harness sets were the wooden saddles.  In my life, I have never seen a wood saddle and it was amazing how many were form fitted for what looked to be a very comfortable ride.  Our friend Pablo was riding bareback, he is such a wonderful horseman I guess he can do that. I am sad that the photo of him was just too blurry for me to post, I am sure they will be by to visit the next time they are coming by our home. The great thighs are Patricia’s by the way.

Enjoy, just another glimpse of the beauty of Ecuador and our own Manabita people.

Morning Serenade

This morning while waiting on the young man who delivers our bread (who has not arrived at this point) I heard music in the distance. Camera at the ready I caught this group of young men drive past our house.

San Clemente is celebrating its annual fiesta this weekend, so this may be a part of those festivities.

Festival Season Begins in the San Clemente Area

There was a seafood festival this weekend in San Alejo, the next town. During the day many different seafood specialties were available and in the evening there was a fiesta with dancing. We were awakened this morning around 4am to the sounds of music and singing flowing into our home. This continues as I write this with several men hanging around a running pickup truck out in the street right at the corner of our home. It is now after 7am, the sun is up and the party continues.

San Clemente 7.21.2013 006Don’t get me wrong, Joe and I love Vicente Fernandez – his music is wonderful, We love all the festivals that will be happening in this area over the next few months.  But I am just not sure we will ever get used to having music playing outside our bedroom windows for a good part of the night. This is our adopted home and we are adapting to the cultural differences, Honestly I had several hours of sleep prior to their arrival and considered joining in the fun, OH SORRY this looked to be an all male activity, Oh well.

The truck drove away at 8am leaving just the chickens announcing the beginning of the day. And it is a good day.

New Year’s Eve, San Clemente Style

It was a beautiful evening to take a walk downtown and see how San Clemente celebrates for New Year’s Eve.

It was a great time, we arrived downtown even before the sun set, Joe laughs at me all the time, we are not night people, we are not party people so when it gets to be 8:30pm Joe calls it Nancy Midnight.  But last night it was different, we sat at one of the outside areas, Fredy came over, El Gato visited for a few minutes and a few more of the local folks that we have come to know here. Then some of the expats arrived and the crowd started to get into the celebrating mood.

San Clemente 12.31.2012 003 San Clemente 12.31.2012 004 San Clemente 12.31.2012 008 San Clemente 12.31.2012 010 San Clemente 12.31.2012 011 San Clemente 12.31.2012 012 San Clemente 12.31.2012 014 San Clemente 12.31.2012 015 San Clemente 12.31.2012 017 San Clemente 12.31.2012 018 San Clemente 12.31.2012 021 San Clemente 12.31.2012 023 San Clemente 12.31.2012 024 San Clemente 12.31.2012 025 All of the effigies have a personal meaning for those that built them, they are filled with the bad things that happened in 2012 and were burned in a huge bonfire at midnight.

San Clemente 12.31.2012 027

Mary and I were trying to learn the basic moves for the San Clemente Shuffle or Samba or Salsa from Fredy, who knows at this point we were just having a great time. I did get to dance with a few of my neighbors, Jorge (Tu tu ta) who lives behind us and Nellie whose home is across the street from ours.

San Clemente 12.31.2012 030 San Clemente 12.31.2012 031 San Clemente 12.31.2012 033

Patricia served us all tasty homemade eggnog. Below is a link to a short video of the crowd. It was great fun and we were back home way before the fireworks.

Artisanal Fishing Boats

These are the small boats that the fishermen in this area use. They go out in teams of two around 3:30 in the afternoon.

During festival week one of the activities on the program was a boat parade with the Virgin. It was not exactly a boat parade, it was more a procession of people carrying the Virgin statue to each fleet location on the beach.


After the procession up the beach the fisherman started taking folks out on their boats. Here are a few short videos to let you see how these guys make it over the incoming waves, it actually makes my stomach feel like it is flipping and in the boat with them.

Clear skies, blue water and a soft breeze made for the perfect day for watching the boats and of course the people!

San Clemente Parade

Friday was the parade for the festival in San Clemente. Here are a ton of pictures and a few videos of what we saw:

This is our neighborhood fisherman from Norte.

This is the handsome young man who lives directly across the street from us. What a sweet young man!

This is our neighbor from down at the tienda at the end of our block.

Festival of San Clemente

During this week and through the weekend the Festival of San Clemente is going on. Every evening during the week until Thursday night starting at 8pm Mass will be offered next to the Virgin statue in centro. Different neighborhoods sponsor these Masses and refreshments  supplied by the neighborhood will follow the service.

Thursday night is a cultural event with local talent supplying the entertainment starting at 8pm.

Friday there are several activities planned including a parade at 2:30pm, with a dance starting at 10pm

Saturday finds the community participating in a boat parade at 9am starting at Vivianas Restaurant with a procession through the town Saturday morning at 10am carrying the Virgin to the church. At 11am a free gastronomic festival sponsored by the Godparents with various stands supplying food. 8pm Grand Mass Saturday evening in the Church of San Clemente where baptisms and weddings will be performed. A parade returning the Virgin from the church to the main street shrine will process after Mass with a dance at 10 pm with a free orchestra. 11pm is the spectacular fireworks display.

Sunday at 2pm games will be offered and dancing starting at 10pm.

This is an annual festival packed with fun for everyone.