|Slurpy mouthed iguana posing for a photo at the park in Manta, Ecuador.
“Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”
|View from the veranda at the industrial port in Manta. Passengers aren’t allowed to walk through this area.
|Outdoor cafe at the outdoor market in Manta, Ecuador.
Currently, we’re docked in the industrial port of Callao. It’s a 45-minute shuttle ride to get close to Lima plus a 20-minute taxi ride from there to the big city’s congested shopping district.
|A Virgin Mary statue in the park.
Based on the fact we’ll be spending late 2019 and 2020 in South America, during which we’ll return to Peru to visit Lima, Machu Picchu, and the Galapagos Islands, we don’t feel compelled to spend most of the day waiting in line for the shuttle bus ride which appears to be a two-hour wait while standing in the hot sun, especially when it’s so difficult to take good photos from a moving vehicle.
|Historical statue in the park.
We’ll continue to watch the lines outside for the shuttle bus ride and, from there, decide if we’ll go. Some passengers opted to do Machu Picchu from the ship at the cost of US $3,000 per person. We’d rather wait and do our tour later on, rather than be so rushed.
|A water sculpture in the park.
The ship is staying in port overnight tonight for those doing Machu Picchu and other overnight tours. We love being able to decide what works for us at any given time, knowing, God willing, we’ll have plenty of time to explore Peru and other countries in South America in the future at our usual low-stress pace.
|Another view of the fountain in the park.
Many passengers on cruise ships are in a frenzy to see everything they can in an eight to 24-hour period (or, as in this case, longer). We don’t feel we can get the “flavor” of a country in such a short period. This constitutes why we choose to live in various countries rather than breeze through for a day or two.
|An iguana was chewing on some vegetation.
Instead, we’re blissfully content to plan our day aboard the ship if necessary, later engaging in the series of activities we’ve thoroughly enjoyed each evening which includes:
1. 5:00 to 7:00 pm – Captain’s Club nightly party in the Constellation Lounge
2. 7:00 to 9:00 pm – Dinner in the Trellis Restaurant (sharing a table with others).
3. 9:00 to 10:00 pm – Show in the Celebrity Theatre (tonight’s show is a comedian)
4. 10:00 to 12:00 pm – Dancing and wild entertainment in the Martini Bar where the highly skilled bartenders are jugglers/mixologists who put on quite a show to the loud howling and laughter from those around the bar. We’ve had a blast!
|A pigeon was sitting atop a hut in Manta.
By midnight or so, we fall into bed, exhausted with smiles on our faces. By 6:00 am, we’re awake and ready to begin another delightful day. It’s not much sleep, but once the cruise ends in 22 days, we’ll have plenty of time to recover during our 30-nights in Buenos Aires.
|The view of the beach from the park across the roadway.
Much to my pleasure, I’m feeling better than I’ve felt since the gastrointestinal problems began almost two years ago. It seems to be a combination of eating less food, returning to my intermittent fasting program of one medium-sized, very low-carb meal once every 24 hours.
|Sign language chart near the park.
It’s not easy skipping breakfast and lunch on a cruise when so much good food is available, much of which I can eat. Tom has a light breakfast of poached eggs and bacon (no cereal, no toast, no juice or pastries). I sit with him in the dining room at a shared table, drinking my mug of hot tea while he, too, avoids lunch and snacks.
|This Christmas tree was being prepared by workers.
After all, this is our 20th cruise in five years. One can only imagine how unhealthy we’d be if we’d eaten the usual three meals a day plus desserts and snacks most passengers consume while cruising. Many often gain as much a 10 pounds (4.5 kg) during a 15-night cruise.
|Unknown statue in the park.
I’m proud of Tom for deciding not to overindulge on cruises. It’s tempting to indulge but not holding back could easily result in a quick end to our world travels with the extra weight we’d gain and the resulting medical issues that go along with it. Food isn’t worth it to either of us.
|Local police on alert in the busy area.
At one point, when he was up by only 10 pounds, I noticed him huffing and puffing while handling our luggage. Now, he does it with ease and feels so much better besides.
|Tom at the park in Manta. Note the Banyan tree behind him.
For now, we’re waiting for the crowds boarding the shuttle buses to thin out, but if not, we won’t be going. Instead, today, enjoy more of our Manta, Ecuador photos. Over the next few days, we’ll be finishing up the Manta photos with an interesting fishing story.
|Me at the park in Manta with a Banyon tree in the background.
Have a blissful day!
Photo from one year ago today, December 1, 2016:
|Newcastle Ferry Wharf on Day 33 of the cruise circumventing Australia as it came to an end. For more details, please here.