Manta, Ecuador

Yesterday we were in Manta, Ecuador, a depressing fishing city of about 200,000 that produces much of the world’s tuna. The ship docked by us unloaded huge frozen tunas from 5 am to 5 pm. The stop in Manta was primarily to allow 60 lucky people who paid about $3,500 extra to fly up to Machu Pichu. These folks will rejoin the ship in Lima. Princess could only accommodate 60 people on this trip; unfortunate, since most of the 680 guests on board would have loved to get to Machu Pichu.

Those of us who were “left behind” (almost like the “rapture”) made do with Manta.

I did get to go out to Montecristi and see where the authentic “Panama” hats are made. Interesting. They range in price from $25 to $500 depending on the tightness of the weave and the quality.

There is the usual world cruise mix of guests on board. Half of these folks were on last year’s world cruise on this same ship. Probably two-thirds have been on one or more world cruises. There are lots of Americans (US & Canada), but also Europeans. The youngest passenger is a French-speaking boy who is 6 and this is his second world cruise. The oldest is a gentleman who is 100 and came on the cruise to celebrate his 101st birthday!

And strictly for titilation, some Pre-Columbian “porn” . . . actually these images were fertility images used in an agricultural society to guarantee not only fertility of the “tribe”, but also fertility of crops.  These Pre-Columbian reproductions were being sold on a table with a big sign reading “Antique”.

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