Ship Ahoy!

Many times when we are at the beach we have noticed shrimp boats out in the water. Yesterday I just assumed that the ship in the distance was just that a shrimp boat. Joe disagreed and I just hate when he is right.

Maybe I have been wrong other times as well, Naw, not possible, ha ha  We often saw the Navy ships on the coast in Salinas, you can see pictures in past blog articles if you want to see some pretty sharp ships. The most enjoyable to see is the tall ship the Guayas, what a magnificent boat.

Other posts I have done on the Ecuadorian Navy ships. Just put the title listed below in the search box and these older posts should pop up.

Ahoy Matey! Tall ship off the balcony! posted 7.19.2010

Ecuador Navy Back in Town Yesterday posted 4.14.2011

Also our friends Mary and John McDonald living here in San Clemente saw the same boat yesterday, we spotted John watching and taking photos, to see their article go to:  t

Enjoy your weekend.

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!

Going on Hiatus

I am taking a break. Other things in our lives call to me. Time for me to rethink why I started this blog and its direction.

It’s been a blast and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading as I’ve enjoyed, well, blogging!

Thank you all for following our adventure. Be well. Nancy

Yacht Club Pictures

The Salinas Yacht Club had some damage done when we had the high tides associated with the tsunami. I have heard pounding and banging coming from the club for the  past several weeks. Yesterday I watched as new boat slip was dragged into place and attached to the sea wall.







Ecuadorian Sweet Potatoes – Camote

I have learned to love these sweet morsels. I know the color is odd, I know that the shapes are a bit strange but..if you bake these beauties until the outside skin is crispy, break them open, add a good dollop of sweet butter and a bit of cinnamon, you will be in heaven. I love eating the crispy outside almost as much as the silky sweet inside.

They really don’t look to pretty when you make them in a casserole, I have tried it several times and it turns a very strange almost dark purple color. Not very eye appealing so I am now just baking them and enjoying them that way.  The locals call them camote, I call them fabulous!

The above photo is a camote plant that I have planted on my balcony. Yes, you guessed it.  I allowed my sweet potato to sprout and because it was such a beautiful green/purple plant I could not just throw it out so I found a spot in one of my pots and planted it. It is a beautiful flowing vine and loves being on our balcony.  Next I will need to see if any sweet potatoes are actually forming…and then you can call me Farmer Nancy.

A rainy morning in Salinas

We woke up this morning to the sounds of splashing as cars drove past our apartment. There is not a drop of water on the front balcony, no signs on the back windows, but the back balcony is very wet. The roads are slick and not just a mist but a nice coating of rain.  Yeah!!!! We need a good soaking, not just a light mist once in a while to just clean the sidewalks, streets and dare I say the smell off the beach…there I said it.  Someone asked me several months ago if there was one thing I could change about Salinas what would that be. Without hesitation I said “Bathrooms” . To elaborate on that just a bit, I guess I would have to say changing rooms and bathrooms. It is so heartbreaking to see young boys to full-grown adult men sidle up to the walls around the malecon and whip their penises out and pee… It is a bit off-putting to those of us who like to stop, sit and try to enjoy the water or people watch having to see this as well as smell it afterword  and second this is a resort town and it is sad to think what folks think about us when they walk the malecon and smell the scent of urine.  Sorry off my soap box and back on track.

The rain must have started before dawn and it was so misty that you could not see the tankers waiting in line out to sea.

It stayed that way until well past 10am but now the mist is gone, the vendors are set up on the sand and the weekend has begun.  I heard that school starts in the highlands next week, that should mean that Joe and I will have the beach to ourselves.

Juggling School, yeah right

We do see some odd things going on at times on the beach or malecon. On this afternoon Joe saw these tents set up near the yacht club side of the beach. Low and behold each of these guys standing in front of a tent started to juggle. Two are juggling pins while the one is juggling balls.

Animation of 3 ball cascade , also known as a ...

Image via Wikipedia

On my trips around town or to Libertad I have seen several jugglers who will walk out in front of stopped traffic at a light. They will juggle for a minute and then walk from car to car looking for tips. I guess it is better than trying to wash your windshield with a dirty rag.

Seco de Chivo

This weekend I went to the Mercado Salinas and my favorite butcher to see about Chivo (goat). Joe has enjoyed Seco de Chivo at several restaurants first in Quito and then when we can find it here in Salinas. So I decided that I would try to make this goat stew. First I asked the butcher what cut of meat I needed for the Seco and then asked his wife what I needed to add to it. The list is easy enough. The first thing needed was a glass of beer –  no problem there. I just walk downstairs and ask my Amiga Margarita for a few 22 oz bottles of Pilsener.  Some to cook with and some to celebrate the goat stew!

First you take the meat and cut it up into nice size chunks. Make a marinade of the beer, garlic, cumin, oregano and salt – marinate for a minimum of 1 hour.

Remove meat from marinade and set liquid aside. Brown meat and add onions, achiote and bell pepper.  Saute for 5 minutes until onion is soft. Add tomatoes, cilantro, hot pepper, naranjilla juice, beer and balance of marinade. Add grated panela sugar and allspice. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours on very low heat.  When ready to serve add additional salt to taste and chopped cilantro. Serve over rice. Yummy….even better than lamb.

Discount Cards

I just love using the local discount cards –tarjetas de descuento.

I just purchased the Pharmacy discount card, there are two Pharmacy stores in el Shopping Center. It cost $5 for a year. Every time I use my card I will get a discount. The card says the discount is 20% on medicine and products – also a 50% discount on services at Salud, I will need to ask my new friend Belen if this is true. I have used it but it does not look like I am getting 20% more like 10% but that is okay with me if I am savings on drugs and supplements. I very seldom leave the store without spending at least $60. I would get $6 x 12 months or $72 dollar savings or $67 after the cost of the card.

The second card is the Mi Comisariato supermarket card. This card cost around $30 if I remember correctly and is good for a year. I replaced this card in June and it has saved me hundreds of dollars on items that I have purchased at Hipermart. If you shop at Junior the small store located one block off the malecon they do not require that you show your card but still give you the regular store discount as well as on Wednesday for fruits and veggies and on Friday for all meats but if you go to Hipermart in the mall you will need to show the card to get the discount.

The last card is my Supermaxi card this was $44.80 and is also good for one year. This also saves you on your grocery purchases.


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!