If you’re an early riser and start your day with a walk on the eastern end of Tarqui Beach in Manta, Ecuador, chances are good that you’ll be humming Elvis Costello standards before breakfast.
You’ll have a buzzing hive of activity as an accompaniment as well; most likely though the soft but firm pounding of nails and the droning of power tools will drown out your dreamy rendition of Shipbuilding. Recalling the long forgotten lyrics won’t happen, either. But you’ll have shore birds and the occasional pelican for company. All told, a pleasant change and diversion from the bloody scraps at the morning fish market just up the beach from here.
This is the Manta Boatyard, where dozens of large wooden fishing boats are built or repaired, largely by hand, on a modest assembly line lining the beach’s far end. I was most impressed by the scaffolding, itself a work of art.
Ten photos snapped early on a Monday morning are below. Here’s a link to a video (not my own) that will give you a good feel of the atmosphere as well.