Manta, Ecuador

Monday March 21 At Sea

Yesterday we spent the day in Manta, Ecuador. We did not book a shore excursion as the really only choice was featuring the weaving of Panama (Monti Crisco) hats. This appears to have been a good choice as people who went on the manta-hat-makerexcursion talked of it being very hot (and it was) and also very crowded as it was near a church and after all it was Palm Sunday leading to higher than normal crowds.

We elected to take a shuttle bus into a shopping area not far from the ship. It did have numerous stalls featuring various carvings, jewelry, Panama Hats and various clothing articles. We did enhance the economy marginally.

After concluding our tour of the shopping area, which was at seaside we decided to walk up to a pedestrian overpass so I could get some marine shots. As we passed under a large tree there was a huge plop and about 12′ from us an iguana fell, jumped out of the tree. We then started looking around this park area and discovered many iguanas Manta Iguana.jpgon the grass in other trees; the area was alive with iguanas.

manta-temp

The overpass gave us some more views of Manta and of course the Pacific Ocean and our ship. We also took note of the temperature . . . 34 degrees C .. . . Did I say it was hot! Yes it was very hot and muggy.

manta-shoppingLast night at 10:40 local time we crossed the equator and there was a big celebration on board featuring King Neptune. Passengers who had previously crossed the equator were referred to as Shell Crossed and those that had not were called Polliwogs. Polliwogs were supposed to kiss the fish that King Neptune held in his hands. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your perspective Jill and I failed to do this, so I guess we are still polliwogs although we have crossed the equator.

manta-hatsToday we had breakfast at around 8:30 and then went to the Celebrity Theatre to hear Bill Crawley’s lecture and PowerPoint presentation on the Panama Canal. I am not sure if I mentioned it previously but the two speakers on board are fabulous. Crowley is a geographer and Milos is best described as a Naturalist. He has talked on Mammals of the Sea, The Wine Revolution in Chile and the Night Sky. Milos is on this afternoon with his take on the Panama Canal. We plan on attending.

Tomorrow is the big day for traveling through the canal and we are really looking forward to it.

manta-polliwogs
Last night at at 10:40 local time we crossed the equator & there was a big celebration on board featuring King Neptune.
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