Monday, April 30, 2018

Zapatos in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador #AtoZChallenge


Puerto Lopez is hard on zapatos (shoes). As I explained in Mototaxis, walking is the most popular way to get around town. Paved streets bake in the sun, in turn wearing down shoe soles. When it rains, dirt roads turn to sticky mud, threatening to become one with your footwear.


Puerto Lopez shoe repair



When your shoes are falling apart, you buy new shoes or repair the ones you own. The Zapateria above has repaired my ten year old Teva sandals twice. I wear them nearly every day so they are well worn but still going because of Zapateria repairs. I am wearing them in the post Emily in Puerto Lopez.


Two of the Puerto Lopez shoe shopping options


Traveling entrepreneurs 


If your shoes become irreparable, there are places in Puerto Lopez to buy new ones. From time to time, traveling shoe salesmen arrive and set up in empty lots.


Some set up under canopies.



La Bahía


The largest Puerto Lopez shoe selection is in an open air shopping area called La Bahia. The best way to find it is to know exactly where the entrance is located (Google maps street view here). It does not appear large from the outside but it is long, with two rows like the one below.


You can buy all kinds of shoes (and much, much more) in La Bahia.



Avoid prolonged sun exposure


A dermatologist told me he sees melanoma frequently on feet in Ecuador since many people wear flip flops. I applaud the vendor below, protecting his feet while selling homemade cookies in the sunshine. See Yellow Orb for more on why the Ecuador sun is so strong.



Big feet issues


The high heels sold in La Bahia below are not my style. I could not buy them anyway. They are all too small for me. I wear a 9.5 US shoe, size 40 in Ecuador or Europe. In Puerto Lopez, I have never seen a women's shoe for sale in my size. There are size 8.5 (39) but that seems to be the largest available.


Do you repair worn shoes? What type of shoes do you wear most frequently? Do you protect your feet from the sun?



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A look back


Last year, I wrote Zoo - I live in one!
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37 comments:

  1. If only we had the climate where we needed sandals to wear on the beach! Enjoyed the tour of Puerto Lopez this month Emily, thank you for sharing :-)
    https://iainkellywriting.com/2018/04/30/z-is-for-zaragoza-spain/

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    1. It is a blessing to be able to wear sandals on the beach. Thank you for taking the Puerto Lopez tour, Iain!

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  2. I used to always repair my shoes, but over the past decade or so the cobblers have mostly vanished in the big cities. Now its just use and replace for most of us. Loved the journey to Puerto Lopez through your blog, Emily. Congrats on a successful AtoZ.

    https://looseendoftheredthread.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/z-is-for-zugzwang-malolan-chronicles-5-1-atoz2018/

    https://looseendoftheredthread.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/z-is-also-for-zigzag-malolan-chronicles-5-2-atoz2018/

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    1. It is a shame to see so many cities now without cobblers. Thank you for going on the Puerto Lopez journey with me, Varad!

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  3. Emily, even though I live in a beach side town, I never wear flip flops. Around the house, it is boat shoes. If I am out and about, I wear cowboy boots. And, yes, I do get new heels and soles put on the boots. Loved your PL posts this month.

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    1. Your feet are well protected, DC. Good for you! Thank you for your visits all month!

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  4. I never would have thought about how in some countries shoes are repaired as a matter of course. I have good quality leather shoes and boots resoled, but sandals come and go.

    And congrats on finishing the challenge. Good job, Emily.

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    1. That is how it was with me until I moved here, too. One thing I love about bloggers - getting to know other parts of the world through them. Glad to have introduced you to Puerto Lopez, Ally!

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  5. I would repair mine, if I could find a dingin' cobbler... but they went the way of the dodo around here. So if I can't DIY with Shoe Goo, I have to get new ones.

    Another challenge well met, Miz Emily!

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    1. What a bummer, Jz, to have no cobbler around. There was one where I lived in California but it was so expensive I tried DIY, too. It is nice being able to have them repaired in Puerto Lopez. Thank you for all of your support this month!

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  6. Wow - melanoma on feet -- makes sense but I don't know if I have thought about that!! We have my husband's expensive work shoes repaired but everyday shoes, I give away (if in decent shape)/throw away (if not) and buy new ones!

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    1. I had the same reaction when the dermatologist told me, Lisa. At first, I thought I misunderstood, lost in my own translation, but he repeated and explained the flip flop issue. Thank you for stopping by and commenting regularly!

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  7. Shoes are clearly big business around there! The absense of cobblers where I live just goes to show how we now live in a throw-away society. Thanks for an entertaining month.

    A-Z of My Friend Rosey!

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    1. Shoes are big business since the environment is harsh on them. Thanks for your visits and comments all month, Keith!

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  8. I discovered Teva's a few years ago and they're definitely my summer faves. We used to have a shoe repair shop in the neighborhood - one of the last few in the city, manned by an ancient, and remarkably cranky guy. But the shop was all windows and it was fun watching him work - it was like seeing a real master.

    I've quite enjoyed your series Emily and these peeks into Puerto Lopez - thanks and congratulations.


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    1. I do love Teva's. Glad you discovered them, too. How fun to watch shoes being repaired. The ancient, cranky guy probably added to the charm. Thank you for all of your visits and comments, Deborah!

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  9. I love it whenever something can be repaired, rather than thrown away. I had never thought about the baked ground as being extra hard of shoes, but it makes sense. You did another awesome job on A to Z. Congratulations!
    Facing Cancer with Grace – Zero in on Self-Care

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    1. I also prefer repairing to throwing away. The environment here beats shoes up pretty well so I am thankful to have repair shops. Thank you for an April full of visits and comments, Heather!

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  10. This has been such fun, following your A-Z. Congrats on finishing...I look forward to future posts!

    Donna B. McNicol|Author and Traveler
    A to Z Flash Fiction Stories | A to Z of Goldendoodles

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    1. I hoped it would be fun! Thank you, Donna, not only for your support this month but for introducing me to A to Z last year! I would know nothing about this challenge without you.

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  11. Fantastico Emily. You did it and you did it with style--I mean you ended with shoes, no less:)
    I'm even more determined to visit Ecuador after reading your April posts.
    I would've never thought of protecting feet from the sun. But makes perfect sense.
    We have shoe repair kiosks in India and in Qatar--the cobblers are called Mochi in Hindi.
    My favourite shoes are 4-6 years old. I get them fixed when I need to. I used to buy a lot more shoes than I do now. Comfy over style is my mantra:)
    Z is for Zaroorat and Zahrah

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    1. I thought you might have shoe repair as an option, too, Arti. Comfy over style is an excellent mantra! Once you find a good pair, stick with them as long as possible. Thank you for another fun April! See you when you come to visit Ecuador!

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  12. What an excellent post for Z! Had never really given the melanoma issue a thought, although having sunburned my feet as a teen, I slather in sunscreen!
    Congrats on finishing A to Z!! Have so enjoyed your posts and looking forward to more!

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    1. Oh sunburned feet will certainly teach you to slather on the sunscreen! How painful. Thank you so much for your visits and comments all month, Laura!

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  13. Congrats Emily! You reached the finish line with such elan! I immensely enjoyed your A-Z - your photos are imbued with a sense of place and quiet joie de vivre. Kudos!

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    1. Thank you so much, Nila! I really appreciate all of your support!

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  14. Hi Emily - interesting to read about the cobblers ... there are 4 that I can think of in Eastbourne, and I'm sure there's one or two here in Duncan now I'm in Canada. I'm careful about my shoes ... and since I had my hip done I've kept wearing deck type shoes ... especially if out walking ... not sure exactly what I'll do here - but I'm not out in the sun that much. If I find shoes I like I hang on to them ... this was a great Z post ... been fun being here - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hopefully your shoes will last for a very long time and you will learn about the cobblers in Duncan well down the road. Thank you so much for all of your support, Hilary!

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  15. In Hawaii Slippers (Flip flops) are shoes. It is odd to see any other footwear on most people. You see some sneakers and boots in farm areas. Honolulu is more fashion forward. I have loved visiting your world. And will keep checking in. Maybe some day in person who knows. ALOHA
    NANCY
    http://ourrightplace.blogspot.com

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    1. I love that they are called slippers in Hawaii. Thank you for your support all month, Nancy! See you down the road (if only online).

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    1. Thank you, DeeDee, for the shout out! I really appreciate it. Hope you are feeling better.

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  17. The small town where I grew up had a guy in a little hole-in-the-wall who repaired shoes, but I haven't had shoes repaired as an adult. I wear 11.5 women's shoes which are hard to find in the US -- I'd never find them in Ecuador!

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    1. You are right, Joy, you would never find 11.5 women's shoes on the shelf in Ecuador! There are places in the sierra where they make custom shoes. They could make shoes that fit. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  18. But 34 is very small! Anyway, I usually wear men's shoes because I like them more :)
    Very interesting post, and congratulations in finishing the challenge!

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    1. Thank you, Eva, for mentioning how small 34 is - I had a typo. It should have said 39. I corrected it now.

      See you around the blogosphere!

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    2. That makes more sense :)

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