Puerto Cayo, Ecuador

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NEW!! July 28, 2018
July 27, 2018

Just about finished with our little cabana - the first "building" onsite. It's actually a relaxation area built on top of the septic tank! - the Ecuadorians are so clever! But first, let's take a look at the progress as it started this week.... here are some photos taken from
Martes, 17 de Julio, to Viernes, 20 de Julio, 2018:

So, here is where we started last week, to get to where we are in the photo above on Friday of this week (7-27).

7/17/18: Tuesday morning - The bricks arrive to start work on our septic tank. This is a delivery of 1,000 bricks - for $140.00! At least to me, that seems really inexpensive...
Bricks Arrive

Laying Bricks
7/19/18: Thursday - In Ecuador, even the septic tanks are a work of art! We thought it was supposed to be just a "sloppy" brick job, but the guys still seem to take pride in their work. About 3 meters by 4 meters and probably 3 meters deep, and with a cabana on top - it is useful in several distinct ways!

Friday, 7/20/18: With the bricks up to height, it's time to pour the concrete top. They made the base of boards and bamboo, over which the rebar was laid. Concrete on top of that.
Concrete top on septic tank

Rolling water tank to top of hill
Friday, 7/20/18: In the meantime, one of the two 2,500 liter water tanks that we bought has been delivered. This one will sit at the top of the hill to be used for construction (before we have a permanent underground cistern built). We have ordered a second tank to be installed at the end of the ravine where we plan to plant many fruit trees - and will be used for gravity fed irrigation.

Doug is using his posthole diggers (purchased here in Ecuador) to install posts to secure the tank against "ladrones"... evidently, some will steal just about anything from construction sites.
Digging posts to secure water tank

The volunteers from Casa Anna
Sunday, 7-22-18: We invited the "kids" from Casa Anna out to see the land today. Anna has a "workaway" program where the volunteers exchange 3 hours of work a day for their lodging. This month we have Sebastian & Janis from Bogota, Colombia; and Celine & Dor from France & Israel. This photo taken on the side of the highway from our property back into the village. What a view!

Tuesday, 7/24/18: Paulo, who does gardening at Casa Anna, also works for us on Tuesday mornings... here, he's talking to Doug at the property entrance before heading out. He has been a great help to me, trying to teach me the names of all the different trees and plants in Manabi (our province).
Paulo & Doug

Bamboo arrived
Our maestro has delivered a load of bamboo, which will be the "bones" of our cabana on top of the septic tank. Here, a piece of Guadua (the large, strong bamboo) which will hold up the roof...these poles will be in a brick column, shown on the right.

Wednesday, 7/25/18: The brick columns, which will also hold the bamboo rails are going up!
Brick Columns

The cabana
Friday, 7/27/18: The techo (roof) is going up! Now, it's beginning to look like a cabana.... the palm fronds - I think they call it "cade" - are finishing off the roof. Now it looks like it belongs in Ecuador! I think our chico, Wilter, knows I'm taking photos...

Friday, 7/27/18: By the time we left the property today, the roof had been finished, along with the railings, etc. The bamboo needs to dry for 10 to 15 days, and then will be lacquered according to Maestro. We absolutely love it!
The cabana

One pound of shrimp
OK - eat your hearts out! This is one pound of fresh Ecuadorian shrimp....in other words, $5.00 worth!! And that's the biggest saute pan I have here - compare it to the size of the double bowl sink it is sitting on....and Alfredo delivered it to our door this morning!

In the USA, or Florida at least, we call these "tostones"... they are basically fried green plantains - very popular in Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisine. Here in Ecuador, they are exactly the same but are known as patacones. My friend Maria, who sells Avon (believe it or not, Avon is in South America!), sold me this pataconera... a simple plastic device (made in Colombia by the way) that flattens out the partially cooked plantains to be fried until crisp on the outside! It works like a charm - and my patacones were delicious!! (They were actually half gone before I got the camera out.)

Yes.... one of the many things we love about Ecuador is the FOOD! Fresh, healthy, and delicious!

July 7, 2018

It was decided we needed to make the main drive a little easier to access, so the "big machine" was sent out. Between the driveway and the back hill, we are also added a parking area - large enough to turn a truck around for exit to the highway.... take a look at some photos taken on
Lunes, 9 de Julio, 2018:

7/9/18: Monday morning - Today, we have Luis, in addition to Byron, working on the entrance. This photo is looking downhill to the road beside our property.
Property Entrance

Property Entrance
7/9/18: Monday morning - Working on entrance and parking area (along with a reservoir for excess water in the ditch next to parking platform). This was taken from the "back hill" looking west towards the ocean/front hill.

7/10/18: Tuesday -Doug watches as Byron begins digging for the septic tank. This is just below the small road built nearest the summit, where the buildings will be...
Digging septic tank

Digging septic tank
Photo taken from the roadway "below" the septic tank area. Beyond the top of the hill behind Byron is the gorgeous ocean view (the reason we bought this property!)....

At last - the trucks arrive to bring the "lastre" (road base material) for our driveway. Three trucks in all - 26 loads in total (between Tuesday and Wednesday).
Trucks arrive!

Trucks arrive!
As mentioned, they brought 16 loads on Tuesday.... then returned on Wednesday with another 9 loads. So cool - now our roadway won't wash away.

7/12/18: Thursday - The last of the 25 loads of "lastre" (a base material for the roads) was spread yesterday.
Lastre spread on drive

Lastre spread on drive
7/12/18: With the lastre in place, we will still have a roadway after a rain - otherwise, it would be solid mud!

7/12/18: This is the entrance to the rough cut we had done that goes to the "back hill" - so a pickup truck would now be able to access the second hill from this road.
Gina at entrance to back hill road

Hole for Septic
7/12/18: Juan & Julio came out to measure the area dug out for the septic tank. The verdict is that we need an additional meter in width - so Byron will handle that on his next trip.

7/12/18: This afternoon we had a surprise call from our favorite taxi driver from Manta. (Juan Carlos drives us back to Puerto Cayo after our Manta shopping trips.) He was passing thru Cayo, so we had a chance to show him the property - and to prove that it is now possible to drive to the top of the hill!
Juan Carlos & Gina

Doug's hacha
7/5/18: This is how you buy an "axe" in Ecuador! Piece by piece.... as we found out on a shopping trip to Jipijapa. You buy the head, and then you buy the handle to attach.

7/6/18: This is one of the reasons we came to Ecuador! The "national dish" of the Ecuadorian coast - ENCEBOLLADO! It is a fish stew made of albacore tuna, yucca, and red onions (cebollas). And it's unbelievably delicious. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Yessenia (the wife of our mototaxi driver, Luis) makes this wonderful dish - and Luis will actually deliver it to your home! This beats the heck out of pizza delivery on a Friday night! The cost?
$2 per person - served with chifles (plantain chips) and fresh lime.
Yessenia's Encebollado

7/8/18: So here is Doug, working hard to plane down his axe handle with a chisel (yes, all his tools are still in Florida, so you borrow what you can!).
Doug's hacha

Doug's tools
7/8/18: Success! - Doug now has a completed hacha (axe), along with the other tools he has acquired since we came to Ecuador.

See photos from May & June, 2018