Up even earlier than yesterday. The front desk forgot the wake-up call but it really doesn’t matter.
The Wyndham shuttle service is on time and once again we are back at the airport, this time without any travel problems, business class – rapid checking in of luggage.
The flight to Manta is short. The cloudy skies obscure any view of the mountains below. Manta airport is basic, a luggage carousel that looks as though it will break down at any moment and, the use of the ‘sanitarios’ requires leaving the secure area with security guard permission to allow re-entry. It is a provisional airport. New plans are underway for construction, an artist rendition displayed on the wall just outside by the parking lot.
Jean Carlos’ taxi awaits. A well-maintained vehicle. He offers to transport us to Manta or Puertoviejo when we want to go grocery shopping at the ‘super mercado’ later on in the week. Road signs clearly indicate routes to various towns and include distance in kilometers, taking the guesswork out of land travel for those unfamiliar to the area.
Manuel one of three security staff is by the gate at Las Dunas when we pull in and Amarita arrives about twenty minutes later with her husband to give us the keys and orient us to the property.
We have the wiFi code and are able to use WhatsApp for calling and texting as well as access to the internet.
Amarita has some essential food items on the kitchen counter – coffee, milk, sugar as well as paper napkins and trash bags, just in case we decided not to go shopping today. The air conditioner is not working in the main bedroom upstairs and Russell is contacting the technician to come take a look.
After unpacking it’s time to explore, get some lunch and purchase some other groceries available at the local market, Fremas about 3/4 of a mile away. A good walk. Lunch at Las Vegas Restaurant consists of is a large portion of lightly battered sword fish and ocean shrimp, ‘chicharones’ – yummy and filling.
Fremas is closed.
If we didn’t want to walk back we could hale a ‘trimoto’, they’re everywhere, but after sitting around in airports and on various forms of transportation (some with wings and others that think they have wings) the walk back to Las Dunas is the healthier choice. We’ll eat out for breakfast tomorrow.
The HVAC technician (suppose you can leave out the H-heat, as that is not a concern here) arrives. Very nice guy. The search is on for the circuit breakers without much luck, and necessitates a call to Russell who advises us to try up on the rooftop deck – and there is a small box, exposed to the elements – eureka!
Despite cleaning the corroded connections, the unit is still not functioning and the compressor is suspect – so tomorrow will be another day.
Close to 6:00 PM and sunset, time for a ‘bocadillo’, a little snack. After introducing ourselves to Benny, we walk down the ‘malecon’ to Isabel Restaurant for some ‘pescado a la plancha’, lightly battered, flat, fish with some white rice (the rice grown locally in the province) – nothing seems to come in a small size.
“Nilla, it’s been a day and then some”
“You knew that it would take about a week to settle in. You haven’t traveled as much as I have.”
Once you accept the ‘dicho’ ‘Expect the unexpected, then nothing can be unexpected’, Jackson.”