El Matal – Jama/Manabi/Ecuador
Limbo: “An uncertain situation that you cannot control and in which there is no progress or improvement” (Dictionary/Cambridge.org)
Two nights ago, the sound of thundering waves triggered my concern for nearby El Matal; I did not sleep well and was dressed and outside at dawn. The day before, Rio Jama seemed to creep higher than normal.
A view of the mouth of the river confirmed my suspicions – after a year of good behavior, Mother Ocean was throwing a tantrum.
My friends’ father/grandfather, Senor Jose Nestor Cevallos, died three days ago at the age of 103; after the services yesterday, I reached El Matal just before sunset and high tide. Some locals stood in clusters and watched the thundering waves while others watched stoically from their properties. The mood was somber.
No one seems to know the status of the paperwork/request for emergency assistance. There are more successful options than the use of boulders (proven to fail, and they have failed) yet the apathy at governmental levels is discouraging.
For a year, the sand bags have served their purpose (buying time) on the upper end, yet they received a battering this past week. The estimated life of the bags is 18 months, and there are two rows of (aging) bags in place. A third fresh line would help all of the homeowners sleep better at night.
None of the tide tables predicted these high tides and strong swells.
Because my trek took longer than planned, I spent the night with friends and will resume the next segment of my beach walk in the morning.