Acc: Reten Naval
No paddling tomorrow
I have decided to take my two days off here in Atacames instead of in Esmeraldas which will be the next port. I arrived really worn out from hard and long paddling days with some bad sleep, and my skin needs a few dry rest days anyway. The chores I have to do, I can do as well here and maybe better (who knows what my accommodation at the Navy in Esmeraldas will be like?). I have wifi, a nice own room with enough ventilation, a shower, my kayak is just outside to work on, I can do my laundry and shopping and have nice company from the Navy guys looking after me. No more needs in the city, just a stamp in my passport in Esmeraldas to exit Ecuador in two days after paddling into the city.
Besides, this is obviously Ecuador’s biggest holiday destination, though being noisy day and night, a harbor city can’t be better to stay at for two days off.
I didn’t see that much of the city today apart from a short drive up to a big super market, I will take a lot of time tomorrow to walk along the beach and city. It was interesting to see the change from the beach front with a bunch of good hotels to the real city back inland – the real Ecuador. Though the beach front felt very Ecuadorian and South American also – noisy, colorful, local looking to me, and there are many international tourists, but mainly out from South America. Few European faces to spot, but many beautiful ones! Any many black ones also who seem to integrate well here in the north of Ecuador.
I was witnessing today the harvest of a bunch of fresh coconuts from the one and only palm tree in the Reten Naval back yard. I knew already that what we are able to buy in Germany as “Coconuts” is only the very ripe and hard core of the whole fruit. When they are still young and fresh, the milk is delicious watery, and the flesh is just maybe 5 mm thick and soft, almost creamy. I first drunk the milk of a whole nut, then ate the soft core with a natural spoon cut from the outer green shell. Delicious! This job was performed by a bunch of nice guys from the Red Cross center just across the courtyard. Thanks!
I chatted today with Vicky from Expedition Tropicales http://www.xtrop.comon skype, and she could tell me the good news my permit from the Kuna people to paddle the archipelago San Blas in the Caribbean side of Panama is ready to be picked up. Thanks a lot for your help, Scott and Vicky!
Now it’s just the Canal permit to aim for…not easy. No one has been allowed topaddle it so far…