Sunday, August 12, 2012


August 11, 2012

Courtesy of
Steve Renton and Brent Kissock
It’s “winter” now in South America. Along our area of the Ecuadorian coast, from around mid-June until November, it is frequently cloudy and cool (I suppose between 65-75F degrees), interspersed with gloriously bright, sunny, and temperate days. *

Courtesy of Steve and Brent

Comfortable long pants and sweatshirts/ sweaters (think layering) are welcome additions to any Olón beach wardrobe now. Perhaps it’s a relative thing – I’m “bundled” up in clothes, though there are plenty of folks frolicking in the ocean and walking around Montanita in bathing suits… Maybe I just got too use to the Palm Springs desert heat, but I sometimes puzzle over being dressed like an Eskimo (okay, I’m exaggerating a little), living a couple of degrees south of the Equator.

Isla de la Plata
Courtesy of Steve and Brent
While it may not be the best time for sunbathing, it is also humpback whale watching season. Their migration through here is exhilarating to witness when they are spotted breaching so close to shore. But the best way to see them is to take one of the many whale watching and/or “Isla de la Plata” boat tours out of Puerto Lopez, about 45 minutes north of us.

Recent and delightful guests, Steve and Brent, snapped these pictures a couple of weeks ago on one of the tours. Steve was kind enough to send me an awesome video they also took, but unfortunately I’m unable to upload to this blog. **

Sadly, one of the “ballenas jorobadas” didn’t make it, and washed ashore last week in Montanita.


I haven’t had much of a chance to write lately, because aside from our numerous trips to Cuenca since early May (for dental work/exploring), there’s been a flurry of social activity in Olón too, with  gobs of visitors coming through, and new expats arriving.
Expats Dave and Heather (who live in Ayangue, 25 minutes south of us) recently instigated Saturday noon gringo “get-togethers” at “Tito and Hannah’s”, which is a popular cabana along the Olón beach, and those have been a lot of fun.

Bill and Colleen Baker are back (see “This andThat”) for a while; Tom and Candace (from Sedalia, MO) have been here, and are in the process of moving to Ecuador (they own property in Manglaralto and are ready to build).
Barb and Robert are now well settled into their home in Curia, and making such a positive impact here. They were instrumental in getting speed bumps installed on the Ruta del Sol in that community, and recently picked up the vet tab/transportation logistics for an ailing “family” dog in Montanita. ***

We’ve also had the chance lately to meet many interesting people traveling through Ecuador (of all ages). We met a gal named Cynthia in Cuenca a few trips back, who was heading eventually to the coast. We’ve corresponded since then, and she was here last week. I really enjoyed spending more time with her.

The “dance thing” (okay, refer to recent video: "Olón Flash Mob" on you tube -- Olón Flash Mob ) is still going on. I am so delighted that this has become an on-going Mon-Wed-Fri afternoon event. I have no idea how it’s being funded, but it’s a lot of fun. I’ve asked the locals many questions about it, but still not sure I have this information correct:

As near as can I understand it, tee-shirts are being given out for free for those participating, but you have to pay $5 or so for step-stools/exercise sticks, and or other accoutrements for calisthenic exercises on Mondays.

Monday nights are essentially dedicated to aerobic exercise, and Wednesdays and Fridays are more about learning dance moves. Every local around here tells me these sessions go from 5PM to 7PM, but realistically, I’ve never seen them really get started until 6PM, and many of the town gather at the park to watch or participate.

I think I need to attend more of the kick-my-ass Monday assemblies.
Sometime in the last few years, my late Grandma Peg’s arms somehow got attached to my shoulders. Seriously, when shaking salt on food these days, my upper arms swing stronger than a 6.5 on the San Andreas (you know, come to think of it – maybe it’s a good thing that I have to wear long sleeves during our “cool” season).

This was confirmed to me by our friend Sambo who stopped by our place last Friday night for a beer, and asked me why he hadn’t seen me more at the Monday night sessions, given that my “upper arms were fláccido” – said so earnestly, and without any malice . Gosh, I love the people here…I would never call them “naïve”, but I love their guileless attitude and perspective on life (“Mama, why is that person a different color?...Why do you walk with a cane?...Why are those lady’s arms so flabby?).

So Cynthia joined me last Monday night for the work-out. See video below. I’m still sore.

Watching the games while
 paying our water bills at
the Olon water office.

We don’t have satellite T.V. but tried to catch the Olympics as best we could on local commercial televisions in the area (only superseded by ANY soccer game airing at the same time).

This weekend is a holiday in Ecuador (Independence Day) and there are a ton of vacationers in town, so we’re kind of laying low reading books and watching the fifth season of “Dexter”.
It is also the Perseid Meteor Shower weekend. I love this meteor shower! Unfortunately, our viewpoint from South America is not as vivid as North America (it doesn’t help that our nights are cloudy now). I wish it would clear up, because one cool thing about watching the Perseids from here (assuming it’s possible) is that the “falling stars” actually appear at times to be flying “upwards”….

(Thanks, Diane from Bahia).

Daisy is scheduled for a full hysterectomy this next Tuesday morning with Dr. Otto. She was sterilized (tubal ligation) several years ago, when our friends Rocky and Elizabeth encouraged us to adopt her, but still goes through really annoying heat cycles, so snuffing out those days for good.

Dr. Otto is great and he makes house calls.  Daisy is familiar with him, and we have every confidence she’ll come through the procedure with flying colors.

Recent vet "house call" day.
Daisy surrounded by
Dr. Otto, "Daddy Doug" and Todd

* For the most current information regarding our particular weather (an Ecuador eco-climate) see this link:
Weather in Montanita

  *** Barb and Robert were first mentioned in “Go For a Ride”, and have kindly given me permission to share some of their stories.