20th Oct 17 - Manta Ecuador

We have been to Ecuador before on our trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands. Manta is the main fishing port of Ecuador with a population of c250,000. It was hit by a 7.1 earthquake in Apr 16 when hundreds died and many homes destroyed. They have done well to recover this quickly.

View from the deck of the harbour and its many fishing vessels and the main beach - one of the most popular holiday beaches in Ecuador
You might never have heard of Manta but you very probably have eaten its main export - TUNA. Whether fresh or tinned, most of the world's tuna is exported from Manta.
Its other claim to fame is as the home of the Panama Hat which originated in the nearby village of Montichristi.
Panama hats  can take days, weeks or even years to make - depending on the density of the weave. They say if you have a Panama hat costing less than $100 it is probably a fake from China.
Both Elizabeth & I already have 'genuine' Panama Hats but we couldn't resist trying these on.
This is Vegetable Ivory. It is very hard and can be made into lots of things - incl piano keys. At least no elephants are hurt in this process.
By the sea
Typical shop...
We visited a factory making balls of string and bags from scratch. It was both labour intensive and involved looms and other machinery last seen at the time of the spinning jenny of the 18th Century..