This morning we arrived into the port of Manta Ecuador around 4:30. Fortunately, I was still asleep…. I did leave the ship around 6:45 am to walk along the coast to see the fishing vessels and beaches. I spent about 2 hours walking the city streets and beaches before returning to the port gate. I then hooked up with a taxi driver and began exploring Manta, Montecristi and the surrounding area. The first stop where the boat building/repairs took place along with the fishermen & market was spectacular… I just couldn’t take enough photos. I love the one with the cat and the huge mound of fish. Then it was off to Montecristi where Panama hats are made. The central focus of the town is their amazing Cathedral… just amazing. Again, I couldn’t get enough of this town…. great stuff! Once we left Montecristi, it was back to the coast and we stopped at a couple of very interesting fishing villages. I really enjoyed the day here. While I have been here two previous times it was just a jumping off point for Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands. It was great to explore this very interesting area. Since it was a very hot & steamy day, I headed to the pool after I returned to the ship…. It just doesn’t get any better than this.