Acc: Reten Naval
Tomorrow’s estimated landing: Capitania Esmeraldas
It was a great idea to stop in Atacames for the necessary two days off and not in the puerto grande Esmeraldas (I think…). The team here in the Reten Naval station is really nice to me and obviously also a bit proud to have me here, and I feel very much welcome. Muchas gracias!
I finished my food packing this morning, and then I really had all chores done and this day almost off! One rare real “vacation” day on my trip…actually, I can not remember when I was strolling around town or beach like a tourist!
The Atacames beach is wide, long and quite professional run, I’d say. Many vendors for fresh fruit juice or slices of fruit, hand scraped ice slush with very very colorful “juices” on top, ice cream, sunglasses, beach equipment like body boards, beach chairs in the shade of a tent – and massages! I thought this was just the right treat for me after my hard work out. The massage therapist did basically a great job, but a massage even on a regular table on a beach can’t go without sand either on my body or on his hands…so I nice peeling allover didn’t hurt for my skin either
But I urgently felt after the job I had to shower off the massage oil, not an easy job with regularly only moderate cold water in the showers here. Lot of soap, and it felt good again. Thanks goodness for my “Hotel Naval” just in the middle of the action!
Other offers were the para pending I was already describing last time – I could not decide I needed that much excitement after my own 1500 skydives, though they offered me a discount…too dangerous! Or a hot ride on a banana shaped tube… in generally touching the salt water even for a swim on my “recovery” time was not my desire, and probably right.
I rather enjoyed watching the beach amusements – digging a friend completely into the sand, kids digging in the mud of the wash up the beach, ball games, body surfing and swimming in all versions in the tame surf.
The many black women here were offering braids in any style for the hair - about maybe 20 years ago I was running around with the whole head full of nice braids with hair extension in first natural color, then red, then white…all in all for over 15 months! I thought I needed at least to try the style to braid the hair on one side out of the forehead – for four dollars for twelve braids. It looked not too bad, but I felt after about two hours I had to undo them again, too painful, too unnatural, too much..yes, actually too much showing off my freshly regrown gray hair!!! I’m just not 30 any more, and would need a hair coloration at the hairline basically every 4-6 weeks…
I bought two cups of freshly sliced mangoes, my favorite tropical fruit after pineapple and newly discovered Granadillas. I also tried the sweets they are making here out of coconut – especially the white version matches my taste very well! The caramelized version I feel is too sweet for my tongue. I bought a stock of white bars for the trip. And I had a coconut ice cream - hopefully my stomach liked that all. “Wash it, peel it, cook it or forget it!” is what a European tropic traveler should consider…I still didn’t feel to sit down in a local restaurant by myself, but no problem. I am not starving and rather cook a simple pasta dish myself in my room.
I will be back on the water tomorrow around 7 am, with new energy, a refreshed household, and a bit better skin – I think if I’d wanted to launch today around lunchtime just across the Reten Naval station, I would not have been able to hit the water without paddling over maybe 50 people… I think I have sucked up enough Ecuadorian beach life for now! I will have time to compare it soon to other countries. Now it’s raining heavily tonight, and even the loud music has diminished. Maybe I will have a better sleep tonight! I really prefer rain music over real music out of over a hundred beach restaurants and bars which I couldn’t really plug out with earplugs.
I will have three more stays in Ecuador, then I’ll be passed over to the Colombians to look after me! Right after Esmeraldas, the area of the river estuaries start, a place where the bad “narcotic business” people love to be…I have another chat with Capitán de Fregatas Carlos Delgado about the plan for Colombian’s Pacific coast. I’m so glad all Navies are looking so well after me! Thanks a lot to all of them!