Puerto Cayo, Ecuador

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


NEW!! January 18, 2019

Villa Dos Colinas
Welcome to Villa Dos Colinas!!

So, here is where we are now....the palapa is nearing completion, landscaping progresses, and we are beginning to be very "livable" here! We absolutely love it. We are hoping to soon take a short break from "construction"....and have some time to just "enjoy" our little paradise. There are still many things to do, but hopefully we can now slow down a bit. Yeah - we'll see how that goes!

Monday, Jan 14:
This week we are revisiting the front gate. Scaffolding is up to finish the cement work on the columns, and work has started on stairs up the bank for a "shortcut" to the casita.



Monday, Jan 14:
We now have a much easier pathway to walk up to the casita from the drive! Doug and Wilter have been working on small rock barriers, and have added gravel to a now semi-level path! Woody seems to like it!

Tuesday, Jan 15:
The walks around the palapa have been finished with "granito", and are gorgeous. The "carne de perro" (plant) is taking hold nicely along the dirt in front of the pool.



Tuesday, Jan 15:
The outdoor kitchen in the palapa now has a working sink and very fancy faucet! Luckily, it was in the clearance section, even at 50% off, it was still $160.00! But it really is nice! (No, it's not red - that's reflection from my blouse!)

Tuesday, Jan 15:
A broader view of the palapa kitchen. The door to the storage/laundry room is at the left. Doug is going to build his own cabinet doors - probably out of bamboo! Can't wait to see what he comes up with.



Tuesday, Jan 15:
A view of the palapa from the south end...the trees are beginning to "green up" after the long dry season. January thru March is the "rainy" season - "invierno" or winter - although it is the warmest part of the year. Verano (or summer) is cooler, basically the opposite of the northern hemisphere.

Tuesday, Jan 15:
Walking down the hill towards the drive...the palapa, looking towards the pool and casita. Extensive landscaping going on - Doug's passion!



Tuesday, Jan 15:
After cutting into the hills to make driveways and pathways, lots of work needs to be done to hold the earth from sliding away - here Doug and Wilter made a rock and cement retaining wall, next to the summit entrance to the house. Now we just need more plants!

Tuesday, Jan 15:
The pathway leading up to the palapa, made of cement and gravel...to the side of the retention pond system that Doug designed.



Tuesday, Jan 15:
Further up the pathway, we have a "double path"... on the left leading to the patio between the pool and casita, and on the right, a path leading to the bodega (storage room) under the casita and the water cistern.

Tuesday, Jan 15:
Near the patio, Doug has planted some aloe vera, and several orchid plants given to us by our electrician, Cesar! Can't wait to see what they will look like...



Tuesday, Jan 15:
From the patio near the pool, looking towards the palapa...the lemongrass beside the pool is doing great.... can't wait for the carne de perro to fill in beside the steps. When we have more groundcover near the pool, we can take down the plastic wind block.

Tuesday, Jan 15:
And back on the casita porch, Mr. Woody demonstrates his favorite way to have a snack.... laying down next to his bowl! He is a total hoot, and we have so much fun with him!
Our faithful companion, Woody

Our hilltop
Tuesday, Jan 15:
Looking south on our hillside... the casita in the foreground, leading up to the palapa at the top of the hill. There is still lots of "dirt", but just wait until we get it filled with plants... palms, bougainvillea, limes, figs, and much more!

Tuesday, Jan 15:
Doug relaxing on the patio between the pool and casita - looking out at the mountains to the east. Beside the casita, we have started a small herb garden planter with basil, mint, rosemary and some peppers.
Patio herb garden

Vetiver planting
Tuesday, Jan 15:
Today the first of 500 Vetiver plants arrived, and are now in the ground. This is a bunching type of grass with extremely long roots (3 to 4 meters) which is perfect to fight soil erosion in those areas where we cut into the hills to form the driveways.

Tuesday, Jan 15:
Our little casita - small, but it suits our needs and is most comfortable.
Villa Dos Colinas

Work on set of steps inside gate
Tuesday, Jan 15:
The chicos are working on a set of steps up the hill, just inside the front gate. With a little more work on a pathway up the hill, it will be a shortcut from the gate to the casita.

Wednesday, Jan 16:
It is all about the view! This morning, the sun was shining so beautifully from the east - enhancing the gorgeous view from our porch towards the village of Puerto Cayo.
Cayo view

The Pacific Ocean
Wednesday, Jan 16:
Again, the view from the front porch looking toward the Pacific... the waves were just beautiful this morning. Welcome to Ecuador!!

New Years Eve, 2018
January 6, 2019

FELIZ ANO NUEVO!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL... so, New Years celebrations are slightly different in Ecuador! We were invited to participate with a local family, and learned the local customs first hand. Before midnight, Ecuadorians make lists of things that are "out" for the new year, and burn them in the street in front of their homes. (It's quite a spectacular sight!) Sometimes they burn effigies or "dolls", mostly it's just a bunch of paper. But it gets rid of the "bad" from the previous year, and brings in the new year fresh.


View a Slideshow!
(12/20/18 thru 01/04/19)


New Year's Eve at Luis & Jessy's house...everyone gathers for conversation (and a little "whisky") before midnight. After greeting the New Year, then dinner is served!

The fires continue to burn down the street to get rid of everything bad from the past year - and fireworks are everywhere!



Tuesday morning, Jan 1st:
After dinner, it's time to party! The best of the three local street parties is here near the bridge. By 2:00 am when we arrive, the dancing and partying is in full swing.

By 3 am or so, we've done as much partying as we can do... so we walk up the highway towards home. By 4:00 am, we are thankful to fall into bed! But what a great celebration of a new year, and for us, a new beginning!



Thursday, Dec 20, 2018:
When backwashing the pool filter, the water ran down the slope, washing a lot of "tierra" with it - so Doug designed a rentention pond system to contain the water. Here, Wilter executes Doug's "plano".....

Thursday, Dec 20:
Although we are waiting on the plumber from Manta to return to hook up the gas dryer, my new washer is now operational - hooray! We put up a small line on the front porch to dry clothes, but at least now we don't have to hand wash!



Friday, Dec 21:
The last step to getting us to the second floor of the palapa is underway! The wooden part of the stair system is being installed today. Finally, we can check out the view from above without climbing a ladder,

Friday, Dec 21:
Upstairs in the "penthouse suite", a thin layer of cement has been applied to the inside of the cana half-wall to seal it from the elements, etc. And, as we thought, the view is spectacular.



Friday, Dec 21:
Another look at the stairs being installed. The carpenter made the treads a little too narrow, so more work needs to be done to correct that....all in due time.

Saturday, Dec 22:
As the sun sets over the Pacific, another fabulous view from the second floor of the palapa.



Saturday, Dec 22:
A view from above of Doug's masterpiece pond system. There is a culvert leading from the first rock pond into a second large pond (for any overflow). Too bad it won't hold water all the time, what a great pond it would make!

Wednesday, Dec 26:
Another beautiful sunset, taken from the back hill (where eventually we would like to build some guest casitas.)



Thursday, Dec 27:
Looking from the screened room in the palapa, Doug checks out the balcony in front of the room. The bamboo work on the rails is beautiful.

Thursday, Dec 27:
The view from what will be the screened room, over the pool and casita looking towards the village.



Friday, Dec 28:
Another look towards the balcony from what will be a screened room for guests.

Saturday, Dec 29:
The guys start today to form the walls for the "ducha"...this outdoor shower will feature bamboo walls, again with a thin layer of cement inside for privacy.



Saturday, Dec 29:
The "outside" wall curves toward the pool deck.

Saturday, Dec 29:
Here the "inner" wall is in place... a cement floor "ramp" leads into the shower area. Can't wait to try it out!



Sunday, Dec 30:
Fixtures going into the bathroom on the first floor of the palapa. Doug had one thing he absolutely had to have in the bathroom - a urinal! Which I have to admit was a pretty good idea...

Sunday, Dec 30:
Looking toward the ocean at the new outdoor shower.



Thursday, Jan 3:
On a shopping trip to Jipijapa, we stopped by a butcher shop we've been wanting to try. Doug asked for t-bone, which they didn't have. But after some thought he said "I think I have something else you might like"...and this is what he brought out.

Thursday, Jan 3:
We bought 3 lbs. off the tenderloin he showed us, and ended up with these filet mignons... and what was the price? $3.50 per pound!! Yes, we came to Ecuador for the fish - but Doug likes his steak too!



Friday, Jan 4:
Miguel and family showed up today to install the granite countertop for Doug's kitchen in the palapa. And what a beautiful job they did. They worked 5 or 6 hours, and the job was done....and the going rate for 3 such craftsmen? $150.00 labor!

See photos from December, 2018