Wherever we are in this house, even at night when the aircon is on in the bedroom, we can hear the sound of the surf. It reminds me of my childhood in California and when I visited my aunt in Massachusetts, who lived across the road from the sea. The mystery and magic of the ocean is calming, and neither of us ever tire of the sounds.
In many ways, it is fine here. The house itself is comfortable, along with the bed and the furniture. When we stay in, a holiday home must have comfy sofas and chairs, and that’s not a problem here. Writing these comments made me realize that now would be a good time to share “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of what life is like in Mirador San Jose, especially for our readers who haven’t followed along daily.
On a positive note, let’s start with the “good.”
- Ocean frontage: Being situated on the ocean is always a huge perk for us, as mentioned above in the comments about the sounds of the surf. When the weather is nice, we can sit outdoors and enjoy the views and the sounds.
- The house is quite nice, although there’s some wear and tear from the salt air, which is typical and unavoidable for ocean-frontage properties.
- Safety: The gated community provides abundant security for the properties contained therein. The gate is managed 24/7, giving homeowners and visitors a sense of security and well-being.
- Restaurant: The only restaurant in the gated community is Kokomo, which is only open on Wednesdays from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
- Little market: Although the little market located inside the gated community is only open on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, it has helped us avoid having to drive to Manta for groceries, which we will do on November 22, when we replace the rental car and go back to the cardiologist. We’ve managed to get by, but the inventory of foods I can eat is minimal.
- Raphael’s produce truck: He honks when he drives by on Tuesdays and Fridays with plenty of fresh organic produce from the farm. Prices are reasonable, and the selection is good.
- Locals are friendly: When we drive through the neighborhood, people are quick to wave, and on Wednesday nights at Kokomo, we have felt welcomed.
- Washer and dryer: Having both of these appliances right off the living room has made doing laundry easy.
- Aircon on the main floor: Although it has rarely been hot enough to use the main floor aircon, we appreciate having this where we hang out most days. The ocean breezes cool the main floor. We use the aircon at night when we go to bed on the second floor.
- The owner is kind and responsive: This has always been important, especially when we have maintenance issues. Igor, the owner here, has been excellent, and we appreciate his prompt responses to our inquiries.
- Maria, the housekeeper on Tuesdays: Apparently, others in the neighborhood have also had Maria work for them. She does a thorough job at only $20 for three hours, and we couldn’t ask for more. We give her a tip each week.
Here is the “bad and the ugly:
- Distance to shopping: There are no supermarkets within an hour’s (to Manta) drive of this house. There are a few little markets, besides the small one here in Puerto Cayo, which is about a 25-minute drive, but when we checked them out, they had nothing we could use.
- Distance to restaurants: It’s also an hour’s drive to Manta to any restaurants where I could eat the food, and going out at night is foolhardy with dangers on the highway. There are numerous beachside dining establishments, but most use tap water in food prep and use grains, sugar, and starches in their dishes. We’ve yet to see a tourist stopping at these roadside stands.
- Power outages: We’d had our fill of load shedding in Marloth Park, but then Danie and Louise resolved that issue for us by installing a comprehensive inverter system that made outage unnoticeable to us other than being able to use the oven during load shedding. There is no such thing here, and when the power is out, there’s no WiFi either.
- No known socializing on any night other than Wednesdays at Kokomo.
Since we arrived almost three weeks ago, we have been fine after many issues were resolved with the conscientious help of the owner, Igor. We are making the best of the above situations during our remaining time in Ecuador, less than two months from now.
This morning, we headed over to the little store and purchased all the meat they had: two packages of ground beef, two packages of pork chops, and two packages of fish, which will get us through the next week, considering we’ll be eating out on Wednesday. At that point, it will only be two days until returning to Manta to try the MegaMaxi supermarket after the cardiologist appointment and the rental car exchange.
Photo from ten years ago today, November 13, 2013: