Sunday, September 23, 2012

Manta, Ecuador.

Johan always do a lot of homework before we start a new day. Our new day started getting up very early, to take a 'trolle' ( local buses) to La Mariscal area, to catch our bus! We went there the previous day, to get all the departure times, and to familiarize ourselves.

One of the many corner Retaurants in The Mariscal Area
Starving we ended up, walking about 10km to the big shopping mall, looking forward to a big steak! Hmm, we did get lost a bit, maybe a 10km bit, but it made the food even better.

But here we were with our back packs, ready for the ten hour road trip to Manta.

The bus looked ok, clean and it had a 'banos' (toilet) and we had some ham sandwiches for the road. We were very wary, because all the blogs we read before, warned of pick pocketers, slicing your bags to get to your stuff. Marco was frantic, because we hid his IPad in one of our bags. We placed our bags above us, but slightly infront of us, so that we can keep an eye on our bags all the time. Our smaller valuable stuff we kept in our pant pockets, zipped away. Coming from our beloved South-Africa, this didn`t scare us at all, we just decided to be wary.

We were heading south, and I enjoyed the little towns we passed, and the scenery. We slowly left the mountainous area, and it became dry and arrid. Monstrous Boababs were standing gracefully on the soft hills, so beautiful!

Johan`s butt got tired, and Marco almost slept all the way on my lap. Every now and then someone would get onto the bus to sell food or peanuts or ice cream, and that kept him going.

Eventually we got to Manta. Eleven hours later, and almost dark we got off the bus. Where to go? On the internet we saw that our hotel is not far away from the terminals, so we headed in a direction. After asking a couple of people we reached our hotel, Fransisco. It didn`t look too good, but I was so tired and just prayed for a clean bed. we were the only people in this dark hotel, but a very friendly guy and the only one, took us to our room. It was not too good, but when I opened the bed, it was clean. Three single beds were waiting for us, and a shower with hot water. Maybe the guy saw how tired I was, and after a while he knocked on our door with three complimentary bottles of water.

We got rid of the bags on our backs, and Johan and I found a taxi to take us to a shopping mall for dinner. It was great, we found some hot food, and a place to have breakfast the next morning.

Manta is a commercial town, with a lot of fisheries, and I could smell that familiar smell. We were close to the ocean, and the next morning after talking to Joe quickly, we were heading for the beach walking the markets.

The beach was still quiet,

 but a lot of little restaurants were already serving rice and fried egg for breakfast.

 Some people carried dinner on their shoulders.

We decided to get onto another bus, heading for Puerto Lopez.

 Manta Wikipedia link

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