Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday August 24, 2016 Agua Blanca

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Wednesday August 24, 2016
Last night we went to the restaurant for a fish meal where their English-speaking shill person (all restaurants here have one) had promised us a big fish'n'chips meal for $6.  I questionned them as best I could to be certain that I was getting battered, deep-fried fish in big portions.  Yes, they said, then in again typical Ecuadorian fashion, delivered the opposite.  A minimal tip for them.
For the second day in a row our tour leaders changed the timing of our breakfast and departure and did not tell us, so we had to scramble so we wouldn't hold everybody up.  We thought we were one of the first for breakfast but again we were the last.  Ugh!
Then, we were originally supposed to go to see some waterfalls nearby but that was changed too.  Now we were driving an hour to go to a place called Agua Blanca, which means "white water", but which is now a misnomer because lack of rain has reduced the once mighty river to a trickle.
A tribe is trying to make a living out hosting tours to some primitive archaeological digs of some ancestors as far back as 500 BC, but they don't have the funds to produce the carbon dating evidence.  They have found burial grounds with one urn covering another and containing human bones, and sometimes more than one.  They take us on a 2.2 km walk to a hot springs where there were a few families having a good time.
There was not much animal or bird life except some domestic animal animals like goats and pigs.
We were glad to get back to Montanita for a nice lunch and the sunny skies were perfect for visiting the beach to enjoy the surf.  Cristina does not swim but she came out quite far with me and enjoyed herself, until.....  she was lounging in the small waves at the edge of the water and wasn't watching when she got buried by a large wave of very sandy water.  Now it is a quite a chore to remove all that sand from her hair.
While on the beach there was a guy showing off a hang-gliding chute and harness so we talked to him.  He was different than the paragliding people pulling you behind a boat for 5 minutes for $25 and then dumping you in the surf (not something I want to do with my camera).  He was offering a beach to beach hang-gliding experience of 15 minutes for $30, and.... I could bring my camera!   So off we went to change clothes and get some money.  We came back to the beach and arranged for another fellow from our tour group to take some photos of the experience from the ground.  The clouds had really rolled in by now so it wasn't ideal for taking photos.  Then we checked the beach for this hang-glider character only to find that he had disappeared....  Typical Ecuadorian efficiency and service.  Maybe we will give this a try in the morning if the weather is good.
Today the photos are basically right from the camera, unedited, just converted to JPEG and re-sized. 
I hope you enjoy the photos.  That was the day's excitement,   Cheers, Al 
NOTE that you may click on any photo for an ENLARGED VIEW.

View of Montanita nightlife from the restaurant last night

Time shot of the ritzy hotel across the pond

The sign for the small museum

Yes Virginia, that is a real dead body in an urn

And another one a little more visible

Lots of old stone carvings, etc

A painting of the shamans and their fancy ceremonial chairs

A mock-up of their river raft

Friendly little nanny goat

Cute thatched bridge

Hen and chicks

Mock-up of a ceremonial hut

These little piggies went wee-wee-wee

Pigs had the run of the place

Pose #1 for Cristina

Pose #2

Like in the Galapagos, cactus evolution into tree form

Caballo, pronounced cabayo, means horse

Bright blue bird

Crossing the once mighty rapids

Brahma bulls

Getting a mud facial at the hot springs

Swimming in the hot springs

Pose #3

The big hot springs pool

Kids giving Mom a mud facial

Cute kids

This piglet went to market

Many buzzards watching for stragglers



Pose #4

Montanita egret

Great beach scene

Paraglider hooked to a boat

Pelican fly-over

Cute selfie work in the sand (spelling Montanita).

Paraglider heading for a wet landing

Dogs enjoying the surf

Pose #5

This is the hang-glider guy

Pose #6

Pose #7

Pose #8

Pose #9

Pose #10

Pose #11

Pose #12 (before getting the sandy wave)

Pose #13

Great Montanita scene

Pose #14

Beach futbol