Puerto Cayo, Ecuador

Welcome to Gina & Doug's Journey - Join Us on Our Adventure!

NEW!! July 15, 2018
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:

View a Slideshow!

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.

View Slideshow of Martes, 10 de Julio

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

View Slideshow of Jueves, 12 de Julio

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.

June 23, 2018

On Saturday, June 23rd, we were able to get started on the construction of the drive up the hill. Arturo, who owns the local grading company in Puerto Cayo, told us he was sending his "best man" to handle our job - and Byron certainly lived up to that billing. In 6 hours time, he was able to cut the road about halfway up the hill.... take a look at some photos taken on
Sabado, 23 de Junio, 2018:

View a Slideshow!

6/23/18: Saturday morning - Byron moves carefully up the hill, carving out a level roadway. It felt like watching an artist at work! There was not a wasted move - every "scoop" or "push" or "tap" put the dirt exactly where he wanted it!
Byron working up the hill

Halfway point of drive
6/23/18: By early afternoon, he had reached approximately the "halfway" point of the hill. Here, we planned to make a large circle which could accomodate large trucks (construction) turning around, etc. From the circle, the roadway would extend towards the north side of the hill, closer to where we plan to construct our casita, palapa, and eventually a house. (see Doug's layout below.)

Click on the image for a larger view Doug's Layout of Property

Click here for larger view
6/23/18: By the end of the day, we had a "roundabout" constructed halfway up our hill....
Working on Roundabout

Mechanics at work
6/25/18: Lunes (Monday) - Today Byron was working with an older machine, and it had a problem while working on the roundabout - luckily, with Doug's help, (he happened to have some tie-wraps in his bag), they "McGuyver'ed" it into finishing the job!

The final section of roadway, turns back to the south, farther up the hill. This will be large enough an area for moto-taxi to deliver us (along with groceries/cerveza) fairly close to our house!
Top parking area

Finishing cutting out the roundabout. Trucks should be able to drive around the circle to approach the road to the next level.

See Photos (Slideshow) from Monday's completion of rough cut

6/18/18: The Belgian/French volunteers at Casa Anna are leaving tomorrow - so a few cervezas or vino on our patio were the order of the evening. Here we are with Matil (sorry if I spelled that wrong!), and Maite and Val.
Good friends

Anna, Val, Maite & Steve
6/19/18: Maite & Val are loading up for the trip to Jipijapa to catch the bus to Guayaquil - pictured here with Anna & Steve, the owners of Casa Anna.

Here we are in front of the Terminal Terrestre (Bus Terminal) in Jipijapa. From here, Maite and Val will catch a first class bus for the approximate 3 hour trip to Guayaquil. We're really going to miss you guys! Come back to Ecuador soon...
Jipijapa Terminal Terrestre

Puerto Lopez Malecon
6/21/18: Decided to spend the day today in Puerto Lopez, about half an hour to the south of Cayo. This is a popular tourist town, as there are many whale watching tours and tours to Isla de la Plata (they call it the poor man's Galapagos) that go out of port here. Here we are in the center of the tourist area, the malecon (which just means a street along the ocean) - this one is quite beautiful however.

Unlike Puerto Cayo which is an "artesenal" fishing village, there is a commercial fish market here in Puerto Lopez. One of the reasons for our visit today was to check out the fish market (for a future visit with cooler in hand, to return with fresh fish inside). We found out that the best variety of all types of seafood is available in the mornings - by afternoon, we are told, it is mostly white fish that is available.
Fish Market

Big table of Calamari
Although it was early afternoon when we were here, we did spot this one stall in the fish market that was full of calamari (squid) - and she was also cutting up some pulpo (octopus). On another table, we saw what I think was some kind of eel being prepared for sale.

The calamari is pretty good here - it's really fresh! - but personally, I'll pass on the octopus and eel!

Puerto Lopez is also located in a "cove", very similar to Puerto Cayo. It seems that many of the pescadores (fishermen) do not have to go very far out to find their catch. However, not sure if these boats are actually fishing, or are just anchored.
Fishing Fleet

While in Puerto Lopez, we had lunch at one of our favorite spots - Rico's Bar & Grill. Pizza, Sushi, Chicken Wings - quite a variety of food - all totally delicious!
Gina at Rico's

Rico's herb garden
What we enjoy most is dining in their outdoor area under a canopy of bamboo, and surrounded by beautiful flowers and plants! We are also going to copy their idea of planting an herb garden in a built-up planter of bamboo.

The pizza is handmade and baked in a wood fired brick oven.... fantastic!
Doug and Pizza!

Cyclists on the Highway
6/23/18: Saturday - while at our property watching the work being done on the driveway.... I decided to walk to the top of the hill for another look at the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. Surprise! At that moment, a line of cyclists was being escorted by police up the hill on the highway in front of our property!

We had not heard about any race taking place along the coast, but you never know what might be taking place in Ecuador! They certainly appeared to be professional or high caliber cyclists - that hill they are ascending is a killer... and depending on how far they were going, there are LOTS of hills ahead going through Machalilla National Park.

See photos from May & June, 2018