Ballenita is a small town in the South West corner of Ecuador near Salinas. In this town,  Captain and Yolanda Dillon had built an extraordinary lodge up on a bluff above the sea.  When we first arrived there, after considerable effort to find it, someone shouted ‘ballena’.  Everyone including us rushed to the railing, and saw about 6 humpbacks blowing and surfacing right off the coast. Yolanda had seen the white buildings of Santorini perched on a hill, and created a similar look. The Captain had been a Freighter Captain in the merchant marine for 25 years. ??????????????????????????????? He’d collected marine artifacts all over the world in his travels, and decorated the hotel with them.  He’d also been involved in a treasure hunt for a Spanish Galleon from the 1500’s which had sunk near Ballenita.  We have never seen so many winches, sextants, diving suits, wheels, pistols, swords, etc.

Viking helmet and narwal tusk sword.

Viking helmet and narwal tusk sword.

He even had ship timbers and pieces of eight from the recovered ship wreck.  Dan liked what appeared to be a real Viking helmet, complete with horns, and a sword made from a narwhal tusk.

From Char’s point of view the best part of this day was that Yolanda invited her to an aerobics class, which turned out to be part step and part Zumba!  Yah!  Only Zumba so far!  They do many of the same routines here, so I knew them well. Class was in an open to the sky, but walled in room that was in the back of a small tienda or market.  Interesting gym!

Other items of interest:


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