Saturday, January 12, 2019

Man oh Manta

The evening we were in Panama we had a Panama Hat night in the dining room. Everyone got Panama hats to wear and to keep. They’re pretty nice actually!  Last night was our second gala night so I’ve included a little food porn here. And at midnight last night, we crossed the equator. Since this was our ship’s last time through the Canal before she is turned over to the German company who bought her, the captain thought the transit should be memorialized with a photo of all of the passengers and crew. We all received a complementary copy of it as well.

For a quarter of the cost of a ship tour, Kathi, Patty and I hired a taxi this morning to take us around Manta, and up to two towns - Montecristi, and Chorillo.  These towns are known respectively for their "Panama" hat making, and for their agave fiber products.  We also stopped above the town for some nice views, and then toured around Manta for a bit.  For three hours, it cost us each $25.  When we were dropped back at the Plaza in town where the shuttle bus was, we spent a little more time browsing and shopping at the craft vendors who had set up shop there, just for our ship.  We were the only game in town today.

View of Montecristi

Man showing agave fiber after it's been bleached and boiled

Alfaro Museum above Montecristi

Our ship photo commemorating the Prinsendam's final Panama Canal transit

Workers in the agave fiber factory, spinning the fibers from the bleached plant leaves

There's a whole row along the beach of beat up and abandoned boats - some are being restored
Patty cannot decide on which Panama hat to buy

A man working hard on finishing a hat.  They are called Panama hats because they were/are sold in Panama, but the hats actually are made and come from Ecuador.

Agave fibers

Funky crabs we saw at a tabletop vendor in the middle of a traffic roundabout.  They were still alive!!

Our certificate for crossing the Equator

Tagua nut, looks like coconut and is very hard.  Is used to carve jewelry, and make buttons
Eloy Alfaro, great hero of Ecuador and early president

Snort thought he might try on a hat.

From left to right, Kathi, Patty, little lady making hat, me.
We thought this was an interesting street sigh.  Still can't figure it out.

Agave fiber loom

From the museum above Montecristi

Different bleached fibers

Inside the church in Montecristi

This little woman works bent over at nearly a 90 degree angle.  She works like this 6 hours a day

The town square in Montecrisiti.  This town is renowned for the Panama hat making.

Our table at dinner.  Standing:  Roy, me.  Sitting L to R Andrea, Jim, Patty

This is a cool statue in the middle of a roundabout between Manta and Montecristi

Our taxi driver, Fernando

Making agave mats

The agave factory

Here's some more of those crabs

Double chocolate cheesecake.  OMG, it was delish.

Filet mignon Oscar.  That's crab meat on top, and bernaise sauce.

It was raining when I took this through the window of the shuttle bus on the way back to the ship.  Manta is known for it's tuna fishing industry

View of some tuna boats at our pier

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