Although cool in the mornings (running in low 40's right now), the days here quickly warm up into the 70's and maybe even low 80's at times. This is the 4th day of all sunshine and it was truly a gorgeous day. We decided to keep it low key with a walk into El Centro for lunch and then back home.
As we passed the river we noticed it was running lower than previous days and the water was quite clear. During the downpours on two days last week (and showers on most other days), it was higher and much muddier. We've been told that if we see the locals doing laundry in the river that it won't rain that day. So far, that has proven true. I took photos on the way into town and more on the way home of the washing.
As we approached our foot bridge over the river, we noticed a little celebration on the other side of the road and crossed over to see what it was all about. It turned out to be a group of high school students displaying their projects either on technology or tourism (similar to our science fairs in the US). We stopped to listen to a young girl sing, she did a great job. As we looked at the final display, the teenager asked if we spoke English.
He was the one who told us what it was all about. He came from an Ecuadorian family, was born in Queens and grew up in New Jersey until three years ago when his family returned to the area. He is in 11th grade. Extremely well spoken, he explained his project which was a tour of the various parts of Ecuador. He had some regional food products and we sampled the chicken which had been cooked in a husk of some sort. Spiced perfectly, it was delicious.
We continued on into town, snapping photos of events taking place on our stairway up to El Centro. From there we took our first trip to California Kitchen which had been highly recommended to us. It's on the second floor with the first being a historic hotel. Paintings done mural style line the walls and show amazing pictures of local life.The food was delicious and the servings large enough that we brought half home for dinner tonight. It was fun practicing my Spanish with our waitress who spoke wonderful English.
We ran into several friends while in town, always nice to see a face you know. After lunch we stopped in Carolina Bookstore to look for a Spanish workbook someone recommended to us. They didn't have it so we headed towards home. I wanted to snap a sunlit photo of the sculpture we accidentally discovered last week when we tried to eat at Oliveto (which have now found).
Before we made it that far, we heard shouting across the street and ended up sharing a beer and some laughs with friends Susie & Kent at Chiplote, a little hole in the wall with food that smelled wonderful. Next was the sculpture and a lot more photos.
As always, you can see ALL our Ecuador photos on SmugMug. Here are some final miscellaneous shots from today. The first one is for reader, Phil May. Internet is not an issue here - WiFi abounds in many spots as well as little Internet kiosks. The WiFi in our apartment complex is good enough that Stu watched the Orioles game today.