Pete’s nosh blog and nearly losing my wife


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South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños
February 28th 2020
Published: February 29th 2020
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First things first, the food.

I tend to remember people and places by the nosh I consumed at the time, so here’s some of my Ecuadorian experiences;

We like to venture into the gastronomic unknown. Sometimes one gets a semblance of what a menu item contains or how it might taste. In the case of Humida there were many unknowns on both fronts so I gave it a go, mistakenly as it turned out. Humida is like the steamed jam rolypoly you might remember from school, but without the jam. It has the consistency of masonry filler and in my opinion should only be used for this.

Almueza is a ubiquitous lunchtime bargain treat here. Locals tend to eat out at lunchtime rather than evening and almuerza is the lunch menu of the day. For the princely sum of £2 a head you get soup, main and pud, plus a glass of fresh fruit smoothie. Spuds are seriously popular here and come in all shapes and sizes. The soups always have spuds thrown in on a background of rather grey and interminably boiled broth which is usually surprisingly tasty. It is cooked with care and attention, as illustrated by the cook this lunchtime who repeatedly checked the flavour with her stirring spoon. You get a generous measure of this warming fare, then some meat with veg and some great fresh fruit. There are no growing seasons here; everything grows all year round, so fresh ripe tasty fruit and veg is freely found and fun to admire in the markets.

I’m going a bit off piste at this juncture. We love gardening, especially growing and eating our own veg. The volcanic soil here is like Royal Jelly to plants, full of minerals and a lovely fine tilth. Veg grows abundantly. Maize is everywhere, sometimes planted on slopes steeper than 45 degrees. It’s usually co-planted with broad or French beans, which are harvested before the maize is ready.

Now, about my kamikaze wife. We went to a brilliant waterfall near Banos; Devils cauldron. A beautiful walk led down into the damp freshness below the cataract. The plants were falling over each other to get some more light….

Anyway, so we followed the concrete path that wove up the cliff by the falls. A rail ran along the edge, although not quite matching the dizzy heights of English health and safety regulations. One particularly tight section necessitated crouching to 80cm (having removed the day bag).

The view from the top was great and we stood beneath the falls with great exhilaration. On the way down we were rather bedraggled and our vision was compromised by steamed up wet glasses. Jan forged ahead (it was down hill). I came round a corner into the tricky section, when the path looked suddenly unfamiliar. I shared this thought with my beloved who’d had a similar thought, but it hadn’t triggered any thoughts of self preservation surprisingly. Then I saw a man further down gesticulating wildly to go back. We had managed to bypass the safety rail and were about 5 feet from a 100 foot cliff. Fortunately the footing was good and we had room to turn round and return to the safety of the path. Looking back from further down it was easy to understand the gesticulators concerns.

Whew! I nearly had to find someone else to make my sourdough!

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1st March 2020

So Pete
90% about the nosh, 7% (AFTER the posh nosh, obviously - after all, ‘first things first’) about Jan being within inches of her life, then finishing with - nosh! I’m just not sure about Pete’s priorities here...x
9th March 2020

slip up
Nice try Pete
12th March 2020

Glad Jan is still with us!
Dear both, it has taken me awhile to twig I can communicate with you using the ‘submit comment’ box. I am enjoying your hilarious escapades very much. They are a million miles away from our humdrum lives involving new kitchen install delays and mismatched painted wall sagas. You are both very brave and adventurous, but rather you than me! You will be pleased to hear we have started a sequence ballroom dance class with a new teacher and are rapidly learning some new tricks. Teacher is very strict and we are having to practise in our hall each week before the next lesson in case we get told off. I have gone back from beginning of March to part time and am expecting to play a round of golf (first for 6 months) tomorrow assuming the hail and rain downpours and heavy gales hold off for a few hours. I expect to finish as a perm employee beg of June. Steve is still travelling miles every day to Newlyn (near Penzance - miles away west) to look after fish accounting, but is enjoying it. We are so glad Jan is still with us and look forward to your next instalment, in whatever order you wish to present them! Love Jackie xxx
13th March 2020

Well I never
Smashed coccyxs, 5 feet from losing the bread maker, carnivals, concrete roly pollies... what intrepid explorers you both are! I think I am sticking with the Maldives and a sun lounger although a trip up a mountain with 2 geologists would get me off said lounger!
14th March 2020

Where are the updates?
Well, it's been a fortnight since the last entry, which really isn't good enough for those travelling vicariously via you two. We're all under lockdown here (well, not really, but it's being threatened) and need all the jollity and travel we can get. Friends are being chucked out of India today so hope you're all OK and your plans are going ahead. PS - the weather is getting better now so time to get on in the greenhouse. My tomatoes are flourishing in the kitchen

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