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.


Ramblings – San Jacinto and San Clemente

We had a very peaceful time in both of these towns. The Hotel San Jacinto was the perfect spot for a quiet week of relaxation.  The hotel, staff, management and food was all good for the daily charge of about $30 for an oceanfront room for two which included breakfast. If I had a negative comment it’s that the pool was not crystal clear some days but besides that everything else was clean and the staff was very attentive. Fresh sheets and towels every day with a good bathroom sanitizing and all floors swept and washed. The grounds were swept, washed down or otherwise put in order as well each day.

Almuerzo (lunch) some days was fried shrimp or calamari. Normally what we have found is almuerzo consists of a fried fish platter so to have shrimp or calamari was a special treat for the cost of almuerzo. For $3 you get a full bowl of shrimp soup with several actual shrimp, a glass of juice or soda, and a plateful of food consisting of a small salad, patacones, rice and either fish, shrimp, calamari or similar. Beer extra. Hard to beat. Did I mention we were sitting at the beach. You know, the ocean for goodness’ sake. Yeah baby.

This is the vichy (soup) that is always a peanut broth. This is a favorite from Manabi. For me,  anything with peanut sauce is out of this world. Several places offered Vichy with camarón instead of fish, all were excellent.

Above are the fried shrimp from one of our lunches at the hotel.

The charrasco platter served by Hotel San Jacinto was perfect, especially while sipping a cold Pilsener and watching the sunset.

After a week in San Jacinto we moved up the coast to San Clemente to the Casa Real.  This hotel also allowed us to continue the peaceful feeling. It’s very small and does not have a full-time staff so cleanliness of the rooms suffered. I removed our own trash, replaced towels – it reminded me of a beach hut so I decided to be in the moment and not to worry about the cleanliness of the room and just enjoy! This hotel has no restaurant but they did have a common kitchen with refrigerator, stove and microwave so you can cook for yourself. Perfect for making a cup of coffee in the morning but we ate our meals out most days, as the location is only 2 blocks to the main street and steps to the beach.

Below is one of two restaurants right on the water in San Clemente. The food was very good although they did not offer an almuerzo (set lunch for cheap). Joe and I had to suffer and order off the great menu. Joe had the beef plate and I had the sautéed fish, both excellent choices. Cost $4 – 5 per meal I think. Big beer (22 oz) is usually $1.25 – $1.50 at the restaurants and bars.

Some flowers on the side of the road!

Anyone that knows me knows that I dislike beer. One afternoon our landlady invited us for ceviche on her porch. She doesn’t speak much English and I could not stop her before she opened a bottle of Club beer for me.  I drank it down and actually found it to be refreshing and an excellent pairing with ceviche. Voila! New Nancy. While on our trip I enjoyed many a shared bottle of Pilsener with Joe.

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.