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The Road to Montanita is paved... sometimes...

As you all know, we have been sniffing around Manta for a home on the beach for awhile, but have been stunned by the prices quoted...and then we learned from a couple of sources that we had picked what is generally known as the most expensive town in Ecuador.  I was holding out for Manta, 'cause I liked the infrastructure, but reality sort of kicked us in the butt, when we were told we might have to settle for a ocean view condo for $190,000 (and high monthly fees), and we could not have a dog, bar-b-que, or garden...so off we went down the coast to look for cheaper stuff with fewer city provided improvements.  The iguana pic was taken on our way down the pike...

 

If you are following on the map, you will see a series of national parks that intersect the road south at a couple of places.  These generally are protecting jungle habitat, flora and fauna...  It was great to see some real jungle so close to Manta, listen to the birds, hear the cicadas, and drive over the muddy, unpaved road (in places), while we were thinking how smart we were to get a high centered auto.  In several places, we wondered how these little race cars that everyone loves here (no clearance to speak of) get around on these grooves that are 10 inches high or deep, depending...

 

We finally turned the car in at Montinita, just north of Manglaralto (tall kind of tree), where we found the first real humming action since we left Quito (and Quito only turns on at night)...this was a full blown "back to the sixties" reunion.  The big diff is that the freaks now are surfers, have a laptop, an ATM card, and are not looking over their shoulders at the draft board (not yet, anyway).  take a look at some of the descriptions written   http://www.hostels.com/hostels/Ecuador/Montanita   you have to scroll down for the descriptions of Montinita.

 

As we were looking at the beach, we noticed that tire tracks went right on out, so we did, too...We drove about two miles north on the beach, saw a lot of really expensive homes, and a few fenced in, not so good ones.  But we didn't see much that we thot we could afford...but, on the way back, as I was turning in, I spotted a sand dollar, and boy that's saying something, it was bigger than my spread-out hand, and was lying in the middle of about a dozen tire tracks--so we figured that it was a good omen...STA72158.JPG

Took the pic of Rox as we stopped at a little bar at the end of the beach...notice, that it's not just the girls that are cute in this fine place...

 

and this one, I took almost 38 years ago in a little bar in the Canary Islands, about 60 miles off the west coast of Africa...and that's Antonio, our loyal bartender pouring Rox a "shot" for three cents.  Rox still looks pretty darn good...Antonio%20pouring%20cognac%20for%203%20cents.jpg

 

Decided to stay the night, and found a hotel right on the beach, with a deck over the beach--great sunsets!!  we decided to have dinner at the Casa Blanca Restaurant, and this is when the owner asked us if he could take our pic for his website...guess we were the only straight folks in the bar (take that to mean not long-haired, wet and sandy surfistas)...as we continued on with a great dinner, Rox had the brilliant idea of asking the owner if he knew of any beach front houses for sale cheap...He told her that his chief chef, Roberto, knew everything about the area, and he would meet with us at 4:00 tomorrow to help us out.  That was great...

So, we continued eating while watching the town stroll by--this is surfer heaven, buzzing with activity...you travlin' folks know about the paseo that happens around the town square in every Latin town, well this is the paseo with loud rock and reggae blasting...it's so fun, that the locals come from everywhere just to partake, and to take a look see...brought back many memories for us...

So...we spend the next day quietly, kinda waiting for 4:00 pm and wondering if we are wasting our time...but we show up at 3:30...get drinks, and watch as Roberto handles a bunch of surfers with 5 inch high burgers...

As we were daydreaming, Rox gets tapped on the shoulder by a very old lady, and is told to get into a very old, and tired car...her first reaction was to say Heck no, but the little lady said that it was for Roberto, and sure enough there was Roberto getting into the front seat.

So...off we go to Manglaralto (3 klicks away), we head for the beach and there is a little, beaten up home to look at, looks miserable, but it is beach front...so we get out and clear away a bunch of vines from the front walk to go in...no key needed 'cause the sliders were broken and lying on the concrete.  We go in, and walk around the donkey leavings, and go to what must have been a bedroom,  lots of stalagmites on the floor, look up and are greeted by about two dozen sleeping bats...it is now time to leave...this is a fixer-upper that we are just too smart to tackle...

As we got into the car to move along, the engine would not catch, so Robert and Roberto jumped out and pushed it across the school soccer field--popped the clutch, we jumped in and off we went.

 

The next offering is two homes with beach frontage, but they are those old types that are corrugated tin A Frames with the tin roof reaching the ground, with no side windows.  These looked like the ones built in the sixties in hippie communes...but way too neglected and small to suit us...

We were  pretty discouraged, because we figured that Rox had stressed "cheap" a little too strongly...then she looks left and says to our guide, "How about that one--is it for sale?"  Roberto, says he does not know, but heads off to talk to someone in the village, and sure enough, he comes back with news that the owners are considering selling it.

 

We waited for the housekeeper to show up with the key, walked in and saw a well kept yard, nice finish work on a white and red tile home, that was right on the sand...looks real good, but we know nothing about what the owner wants or what it is like inside.  We should know Monday December 10 if our offer, and many other items up in the air, are acceptable and doable.  At that time, we will post pics and have, what we are sure  are, hair-raising tales...stay tuned...
Posted on Fri, December 7, 2007 at 03:39PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

Hi Bob and Rox:

Great News! I was coming home last night and called Nancy on the way. I heard some songs in the background - some old Beach Boys' tune. Nancy said you updated your blog with good news.

When I came in I heard " I went one day about a month ago da da - Beach Boys again. Get this - Nancy was sitting in the livingroon waxing down her old surf board. Her spandex
wet suit was on the sofa. She said we're going to Montanita to see Bob and Rox for New Years. She said, in time to the music, that she was looking for a quiet beach to practice her yoga. Further, that it wasn't necessary for me to come if I wanted to stand home and get some good reading done. I relunctantly said I would go.

We found the airlines were mostly booked this time of year and about double the normal price. We finally found "Do It Yourself Air" - what a break!! They said they were putting on extra planes from those down for maintenance. They explaned that technically you didn't need all the engines to make the plane fly. They have a method where the Stu gets all those on board to help. Apparently, all the folks on board take a deep breath and hold just at the end of the runway for lift off. Anyway, a lot of that technical stuff goes over my head. We'll have to ask pilot brother Dave about that...

More connections to Manta than Salinas. We'll see you on the on the 28th.

Love, Rich

December 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbrother richard

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