Puerto Cayo, Ecuador

Welcome to Gina & Doug's Journey - Join Us on Our Adventure!


NEW!! April 14, 2019

View a Slideshow!
(End of March/April, 2019)

New Areca Palm
Welcome to Villa Dos Colinas!!

The rains have stopped! Although we will have to do some occasional watering now, we should no longer have the downpours that caused damage to our drives. We will continue to make the repairs and additions necessary to keep us from having the same problems next year!

We are totally enjoying the beautiful flowers and plants, and it seems we have visitors regularly. The Ecuadorian people are extremely friendly, and we have made some wonderful friends. The weather will continue to cool off somewhat at this time of year, to what we hope will be "just perfect".

Viernes, 3/15/2019:
Doug, doing what Doug loves to do...make every detail "perfect"! Here, he prepares the porch railings for painting.



Sabado, 3/16/2019:
"Pepinos" (cucumbers) fresh from the garden. We bury all the organic waste in the ground, so soon we found we had cucumbers magically growing - in 4 different locations!

Domingo, 3/17/2019:
Byron & Jose work on the drain (to run rainwater under the drive) to save the soil from eroding during heavy rains.



Martes, 3/20/2019:
Our friends, Luis & Jessy (standing/seated on right) had family in town - and brought them to visit. Jessy's family from Guayaquil, and her uncle & family from New Jersey!

Martes, 3/20/2019:
A beautiful "Flor del Nino" (flower of the child) that we planted has started blooming....so gorgeous! So far, we have 3 separate plantings of them.



Sabado, 3/23/2019:
A look at the completed drain cover in the driveway. Hopefully the water coming off the bank above, and down the upper driveway will flow into the pipe under the road to the ravine.

Martes, 3/26/2019:
From the casita porch, looking up towards the pool and palapa - the landscaping gets better every day.



Martes, 4/2/2019:
Entrance to the casita area, with rock/cement barriers to hold the water from eroding the driveways. Still need more plants/flowers, but we're getting there!

Martes, 4/2/2019:
Looking downhill from the cabana at the little walls of rock, built to direct water runoff towards the drain in the driveway.



Martes, 4/2/2019:
Looking into the quebrada (ravine) which is planted with our fruit trees - starfruit, figs, mango, avocado, papaya, bananas & plantains.

Martes, 4/2/2019:
Taken from upstairs in the palapa - the birds do "touch & go's" in our pool! There are at least two dozen or more, flying a continuous circle.



Jueves, 4/4/2019:
Everyone, including the dog (Woody), enjoying the pool.

Jueves, 4/4/2019:
Our Ecuadorian friends suggested a cookout at our house - and they brought the food AND cooked it!



Jueves, 4/4/2019:
Jessy loves my "honey mustard dressing".... so she puts it on top of everything! The only things she requested I contribute were my dressing and a cake (which I dutifully baked).

Jueves, 4/4/2019:
The sun has set, and the lights of the village start to light up the sky as we enjoy dinner on the porch overlooking the Pacific Ocean! What a wonderful afternoon and evening with friends!



Sabado, 4/6/2019:
Filling holes and sanding the porch railings is finished... and it's time for painting. Looks good, Doug!

Sabado, 4/6/2019:
Saturday is the day for Fernando and his vegetable truck (along with Wednesday). Yes, that's a big cabbage leaf he put on his head to cool off. He loves the shade and breeze in our cabana.



Sabado, 4/6/2019:
The truck pulls up close to our casita - and while Papa rests, his "number one salesman" (son), helps Doug with his fruit & veggie purchase. Fresh, organic produce delivered to your door, what a country!

Sabado, 4/6/2019:
Woody gets into some of the weirdest positions in his bed! But he certainly enjoys his rest!



Domingo, 4/7/2019:
Another look off the front porch...it is so peaceful here.

Domingo, 4/7/2019:
Luis and his sister Julie (a gerontologist from Portoviejo) both celebrating their birthdays today with us (their actual birthdays are only a couple days apart).



Domingo, 4/7/2019:
When you become friends with Ecuadorians, you become part of the whole family! Here is more of Luis' family - Mama and Papa with sisters and brother-in-laws, etc. Really great family!

Martes, 4/9/2019:
You never know who might drop in here! Our friend Sebastian from Bogota, Colombia arrived today on his motorcycle, with his sister Carmila. They are on a road trip to Argentina, and stopped by to say hello!



Everything has grown well during the rainy season. The huge plant is called "higuerilla" (a castor bean plant); the smaller tree is a guanabana (a type of fruit tree - I don't have a northamerican comparison).

Viernes, 4/12/19:
The stairs to the second floor of the palapa are "open tread", and Woody refused to go up them! Until today... he finally followed Doug up to the balcony - no stopping him now!



Lunes, 4/15/19:
Near the front gate, we noticed a "vine" growing. Turned out to be "sandia" - watermelon! Obviously a worker had a snack in this area, and the seeds decided to grow.

Lunes, 4/15/19:
A closer look... we think it's about time to pick the large one (two more small ones are still growing).


March 14, 2019

View a Slideshow!
(February & March, 2019)

New Areca Palm
We haven't added much to the website recently - we realize that! - but it seems like there is so much to do, and the days go by so fast....

Construction has been replaced with trying to work on landscaping, and putting finishing touches on what we have already built! We are still in the midst of "rainy season" - and boy, we've had it in spades the last couple of weeks! We had three nights of "torrential" rain, that caused lots of soil loss and wash outs on our driveways. We have been trying to build berms (with rocks & cement) to hold back the water, but it seems we fell behind. So now we are working even harder to shore up those places which need it the most.

But, we are still having fun! Waking up each morning, and hearing the sound of the ocean before your feet hit the floor is just wonderful.... check out a few photos taken the last couple of months.

Sabado, 2/2/2019:
Screens still need to be added to the "penthouse" room in the palapa - and floors need to be finished, but the view at night is spectacular! Sitting on our hilltop perch, all the lights of the village are just beautiful.



Sabado, 2/2/2019:
The view of the pool and casita from the second floor of the palapa...

Jueves, 2/7/2019:
The partial bamboo wall at the entrance to the property was a project temporarily put on hold.... but Wuilter was able to get it finished up in one day. The plan is to have a wooden plaque made to adorn this wall with the property name: "Villa Dos Colinas".



Martes, 2/13/2019:
Since this is "invierno" (winter) in South America, it is the warmest and wettest time of year. Therefore, everything is growing like crazy. The clipping of Allamanda that Doug started is now blooming!

Martes, 2/13:
Moyuyo - a gorgeous bush/tree which grows wild in this part of Ecuador! Luckily, we have them all over our property - and right now they are all in bloom! Their branches are also used for railings and some furniture.



Martes, 2/13:
Just below the casita and pool area, Woody finds a cool, shady place to rest - among the "murritos", little walls of rock to help stop erosion. Hopefully there will soon be many more plants in this area!

Martes, 2/13:
This is also the time of year for the cactus to bloom! We have many beautiful large cactus, like this one, all over the property. And they are now blooming and forming the fruits (which are edible).



Martes, 2/13:
Another cactus growing here is the wild version of "pitahaya" (dragon fruit in the US). These fruits are smaller than the commercial pitahaya, but just as sweet. Again, there are many growing here on our property.

Sabado, 3/2:
Friday night we had our second big rain of the week - and lost even more soil with washouts to the driveway. Woody helps me inspect the damage!



Miercoles, 3/6:
Byron returns to install a pipe under the driveway, to help drain the water directly into the ravine. Hopefully this will help save the edges from washing out.

Jueves, 3/7:
After 5" of rain overnight, our pool is actually overflowing! But McGuyver Doug had the solution - we took two garden hoses and siphoned off enough water to bring the level down to the tile.



Jueves, 3/7:
Still more washed out soil after last night's rain. We obviously have more work to do!

Jueves, 3/7:
We had planted 500 vetiver plants (google "vetiver") to help hold the soil on our steep slopes. Unfortunately, it had not had time to completely protect the banks, and some was washed away!
Vetiver plants

Installing a gutter
Viernes, 3/8:
To help with the rainwater control, we are installing a gutter on the east side of the palapa. This gutter will drain directly into the large blue tank, so hopefully we will have free irrigation water in the future!

Viernes, 3/8:
Installing the "tubo" (pvc pipe) into the brackets shown in the photo above. The pipe was painted the same red color as the roof, and actually looks very good!
Red gutter on palapa

Dump truck stuck in mud
Sabado, 3/9:
Although the street to our entrance is a "public road", if we wanted to be able to reach our drive, we needed to fix the washed out deep holes in the road. When the truck arrived with the lastre to fill the holes, it sunk into the mud and required the excavator to lift it out! But, we got the road fixed so that it's passable!

Martes, 3/12:
From our front porch, Doug is watching me board the bus to go to Jipijapa (guess he took the photo when I was behind the pole!).... it's great to just walk out to the highway and catch the bus. 75 cents for the 1/2 hour bus ride to the bank and grocery store!
Bus to Jipijapa

The bus
Martes, 3/12:
And, we're off!! The bus system in Ecuador is great... there are about 3 different bus co-ops that pass by our place, and go to Jipijapa or Manta. There is usually a bus every 10 to 15 minutes or so.

See photos from January, 2019