Manta Equador

Trip Start Mar 31, 2013
Trip End May 08, 2013

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Flag of Ecuador  , Lima Region,
Sunday, April 21, 2013

Very calm conditions again, lovely hot and sunny, but very humid. The pool on board is a welcome relief.

Today we arrived in Manta Equador at 7.30am. We were told if we wished to go on deck we could watch the unloading of donations for a school in a local hill town. Wonderful to see so many thing being donated to a worthy cause. Trucks filled with mattresses, bedding, tables chairs, games, high chairs, wheel chairs, bikes, crockery, food, and so much more were going to the village with 100 crew from our ship. The crew would be repairing the roof and doing many other jobs for the school, while the school children and parents came to the ship for lunch and entertainment.

We set out on our own today, catching the shuttle bus into town. Most shops were closed as it was a Sunday, but a bustling market was in the square with many interesting items. Manta is where the Panama hat originated, and there are many stalls selling them. The locals were demonstrating the weaving technique and they explained that one hat can take months to make. Having bought a few items, including a Panama Hat each, we walked through the streets and into a couple of parks where families were enjoying their day. The little kids are so cute and love to wave at us and have their pictures taken. We then walked to the other side of town to the beautiful Murcielargo Beach. A real carnival atmosphere at this beach with hundreds of families enjoying their Sunday. Restaurants and Bars, ice cream and fruit vendors, and deck chairs and umbrellas as far as the eye could see. They apparently have 12 big beaches like this.

Manta's main industry is fishing and they catch huge amounts of Tuna. Tourism is becoming a huge growth industry too, and in the season, year after year the cruise ships bring thousands of tourists to the area. They also grow Bananas, cocoa and rice between the coast and the mountains. The city looks quite prosperous, with clean tree lined streets, also the people look happy and well fed. We loved our day here, it was quite a highlight!
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Carrie on

Dad is here visiting us in Takaka and has showed us you blog, looks like you are having a grand holiday, all the best:)

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