Puerto Cayo, Ecuador

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


NEW!! September 19, 2018
September, 2018
ARE WE HAVING FUN YET??... YES!!

Our maestro continues to barrel along with the casita, the pool, and now the palapa! Of course with so much now going on construction-wise.... wouldn't you know we find out we must go to Manta after all. Our attorney got us an appointment for 9/13 to get our residency visas, so we leave on Wednesday the 12th, and head to Manta.

Follow the details of our progress this past week or so. Then view a slide show of photos from September 11th through the 18th below:

View a Slideshow!
(Sep 11 - 18)

Tuesday, Sept. 11th: The block walls for the casita are going up! This is taken from the drive behind (to the east) of the casita.
The casita

Trim tile for the pool
Tuesday, Sept. 11th: The ceramic tiles for the pool have arrived. This is the trim tile for the top edge - really reminded us of Ecuador with the mountains, ocean, and lots of boats & birds!

Tuesday, Sept. 11th: The steps leading into the pool, with the seat on the one side. Can't wait to watch the ocean while sitting in the water of our pool!
Gina at the pool

Paulo at work
Tuesday, Sept. 11th: Paulo is still hard at work trying to clean up all the tree stumps and limbs from the part of the property where we will live.

Tuesday, Sept. 11th: Another view of the casita. That's Maestro in the white shirt - totally hands-on and on top of things!
Maestro and the casita

On Wednesday, 9/12 we catch the bus for the 1-1/2 hour ride up the coast to Manta.... on Thursday we go to the Ministerio for our residency visas (and to give the government a little more money!). These temporary (2 year) visas are required before you can apply for a permanent residency. Now we understand that we have 30 days to get to Guayaquil for our cedulas (national I.D.).

We spent an extra night in Manta so that we would have time to do some more shopping on Friday before returning to Puerto Cayo. It is time to start looking at sinks, faucets, appliances, etc. We will also need to semi-furnish the casita in order to live there until we can return to the States and ship our household goods back to Ecuador.

Appliance shopping
Friday, Sept. 14th: Shopping at Mi Comisariato (kind of like a Super Wal-Mart) - they have some fairly decent prices on appliances. I like this small stove for the casita at less than $400.00. We will also need to buy a small refrigerator - some nice small ones run around $400 to $500.

Some things in Ecuador are super expensive, while others seem very reasonable. Electronics are very high, but many of the tools Doug has bought are extremely reasonable.

Friday, Sept. 14th: When we shop in Manta and have too much to bring back on the bus, we have a trusted taxi driver who is becoming a good friend! This trip, he stopped and picked up his wife and daughter for the ride to Cayo. Here we check out the tile work on the pool.
With Juan Carlos' family

With Juan Carlos' family
Friday, Sept. 14th:
Here with Juan Carlos, Lisbeth and their 7 year old daughter, after returning from Manta.

Saturday, Sept. 15th: Doug has been busy planting the cesped (grass) that Anna (our landlady) has been removing from her yard. It looks like it will take hold very nicely!
Grass in the jardin

The casita
Monday, Sept. 17th:
The top support column for the peak of the roof is going up on the casita...

Monday, Sept. 17th:
The tiling continues in the pool.
The pool

The cabana
Tuesday, Sept. 18th:
The bamboo in the cabana has now been lacquered... it really makes a difference in the color and look!

Tuesday, Sept. 18th:
The blocks are going up on the gable ends of the roofline. It is really starting to take shape.
The casita

The palapa
Tuesday, Sept. 18th:
The plumbing and electrical lines have been put in place in the bodega end of the palapa...

Tuesday, Sept. 18th:
The "malla" or netting is put in place prior to pouring the floor of the palapa.
The malla for the palapa

The casita & pool
Tuesday, Sept. 18th:
Looking toward the casita over the pool. Love the tile!

September, 2018
ANOTHER EXCITING WEEK IN PUERTO CAYO!
September 10, 2018

Work has begun on the casita... the walls should be up by the end of the week. Footers are all poured for the palapa, and work will begin soon on the bodega end, so that we can have a "power & equipment" room ready as soon as the electric is run to the property. Now the fun really begins as we watch the buildings take shape!

Below are details of our progress this past week. Then view slide shows of photos from September 1st through the 5th, and 6th thru the 8th below:

View a Slideshow! (Sep 1 - 5)

View a Slideshow! (Sep 6 - 8)

Saturday, Sept. 1st: It's beginning to look like "rebar city"... columns going up on the casita. And, you will soon start to see the slope of the land - and how high parts of the casita will be!
Rebar rises

Casita footers
Saturday, Sept. 1st: Close-up of the concrete footers that encase the rebar, and will become the support columns for the casita.

Sunday, Sept. 2nd: We had invited our friends, Frede and her husband, Fernand out to see our property - but unfortunately, Sunday when they had time to visit, the weather did not cooperate! Very misty and cloudy...not very good for the view. But their property is also on a hill overlooking the Pacific, so they were able to visualize. Gina and Frederique

Beginning Palapa
Monday, Sept. 3rd: Happy Labor Day - But back to work in Ecuador! Simultaneously with building the casita, they are also working on the "palapa", the north end of which will contain a bodega (or storage room). Off the bodega will also be a small room for the pool and cistern equipment, and electrical panels.

Monday, Sept. 3rd: The palapa is approx. 20' wide by 40' long. Where maestro is standing is where the bodega begins. A screened bamboo room will sit atop the bodega (occupying about 1/3 of the length); with the second third being an outdoor kitchen below with a second level balcony above; and the final 1/3 an open 2-story seating area.
Beginning Palapa

Casita columns going up
Monday, Sept. 3rd: Looking north towards the casita, you can see the concrete pours continuing on the massive columns supporting the structure.

Tuesday, Sept. 4th: Our friend at the tire repair shop nearby on the highway has been saving old tires for us - as we plan to use them as stairs on some of our slopes. But, since they got delivered to the wrong spot, Doug and Paulo seemed to have fun rolling them down the hill where Doug wanted them!
Doug and Paulo moving tires

Bamboo at entrance
Tuesday, Sept. 4th: Pedro and Pedro Jr are also working today on a fence section at the entrance. The bamboo will cover the entire "dip" in the land, and give us a beautiful background on which to post a wooden plaque we plan to have made for the name of our property: VILLA DOS COLINAS!

Tuesday, Sept. 4th: On top of the hill, part of the footers are in place for the palapa. (This is looking north, over the swimming pool.)
Palapa footers

Casita construction
Tuesday, Sept. 4th: Forms have been removed from yesterday's pour, as Gina and Maestro discuss the plan for the week. We are so lucky to have found him - despite the challenges of speaking totally in Spanish, he seems to understand exactly what we want - MOST of the time!

Tuesday, Sept. 4th: Back at the front entrance, and Pedro and son have made good progress today on the bamboo section. We are extremely pleased with the way this is turning out!
Near front entrance

The casita
Wednesday, Sept. 5th: The casita plan is finally taking shape! Now that the rebar form for the floor is in place, you can start to see where the floor level will be, in relation to the ground - and the rooms of the casita are easier to visualize.

Wednesday, Sept. 5th: The front of the casita facing the ocean will have a 10' by 30' long porch. So the northern end (which will be in front of the bedroom/bath area) will be almost like sitting on a second floor balcony!...while the south end will be accessed at ground level.
The casita

The palapa
Wednesday, Sept. 5th: The palapa viewed from the southern end....we are still imagining the fantastic view we will have from the second story of this building!

Wednesday, Sept. 5th: The casita viewed from below in the driveway...Doug discovered he will have enough room under the casita on this end for a "tool room"....yeah, he's happy! Along the back will be the kitchen on the left side near the pool, with a small closet and the bathroom towards the right side of the picture - with the bedroom in front with porch on the ocean side.
The casita

The palapa
Wednesday, Sept. 5th: Another look at the palapa as they continue to work on the footers.

Wednesday, Sept. 5th: Another view of the casita from near the pool. The front corner nearest the pool will be the living area, with open kitchen and 1/2 bath at the rear.
The casita

The casita
Wednesday, Sept. 5th: Our "concrete complex" so far... it's still hard to believe they have accomplished this much so fast! We can't wait to get up every morning to find out what will be done that day.... so exciting!

Thursday, Sept. 6th: Forms in place and ready for the pour around the pool deck area. They have also built us some spiral stairs going down from the pool deck towards the casita below.
The pool

The casita
Thursday, Sept. 6th: Forms in place for the floor supports on the casita. Rebar is already in place, and will be encased by a concrete pour.

Thursday, Sept. 6th: The pour has started. Where the worker is standing is near the entry to the front porch - and it's the only spot where the casita is near ground level!
The casita

The casita & pool
Thursday, Sept. 6th: Maestro (green shirt, red cap) appears to be standing on the spiral stairs down from the pool deck - on his phone as usual....he is very, very organized!

Thursday, Sept. 6th: And surprise! Guess who shows up here at our job site - Tony, the traveling grilled meat guy. He set up cooking in our driveway, much to the delight of everyone on the property!
Tony & his traveling grill

Tony & his traveling grill
Thursday, Sept. 6th: Our chicos did really good though - they continued working until the food was ready, and maestro told them to go for it.... which they did!!

Friday, Sept. 7th: The decking concrete has been poured on two sides of the pool - and a narrow section completing the infinity edge of the pool. This is just the base pour - maestro has something a bit more fancy in mind, according to what Doug tells me!
The pool

The casita
Friday, Sept. 7th: Concrete continues to be poured for the floor columns. Those poured yesterday have already had the forms removed, as you can see in the front section.

Friday, Sept. 7th: With the floor columns poured, more forms go up on the columns from the floor level up to the roof level. It is truly amazing to watch these guys work!
The casita

The casita
Saturday, Sept. 8th: Forms have been removed from the front columns poured yesterday - and work continues with more columns being formed up. It's Saturday, so the chicos will be done for the week at noon - but what a week's work they have put in!

See photos from August, 2018