Quito (Manta), Ecuador

“There’s a good reason why nobody studies history, it just teaches you too much.”  ~  Noam Chomsky

Manta is the “Tuna Capital of the World” and we didn’t have time to stop at the fish market 🙁   (BTW the little blue on the belly of the fish is a window reflection, not part of the fish, lol)  The mineral-rich Humboldt current is again at fault for so many fish.  In addition to the Panama hat, Manta is the gateway to the Andean city of Quito, the northern capital of the Inca Empire and one of the world’s highest capitals at 9200 feet.

We head off for Montecristi and the birthplace of the making of the Panama Hat.  Miners coming from the east coast of the United States looking to get in on the Gold Rush between 1848-1855 made these straw hats gold in their own right as these aspiring workers bought them in droves as they headed to work in the CA sun. The popularity boom for such hats that occurred in the ports of Panama is what eventually linked them to the name of the place they were purchased rather than their place of origin.  Then during the building of the Panama Canal in 1906, Teddy Roosevelt was photographed wearing one and popularity rose again. 

Local Ecuadorian entertainment on board ship that evening.