On 30 August 2022, Chantal and I signed away ownership of Casa Luna to a near-retirement-age couple from Quebec.

They knew what they were getting into. They had rented three times previously with other Mirador San Jose owners and wanted a winter retreat among their linguistic fellows. Not that any of this mattered to us, though I might have had a sleepless moment or two thinking we’d sold some hapless saps the Ecuadorian equivalent of asbestos in the attic.

Fortunately, that is not at all the case. They were warned. They bought anyway.

So, it’s done. It’s over. Mirador San Jose, its sociopathic control-freak of an administrator, Danielle Charles, her loathsome flatterers, and the warring factions are but a vulgar memory. A lingering fart in an empty room. An embarrassing skid mark in a pair of your best tighty whities. I have other, grosser metaphors. I will leave them to your imagination.

The send-off

After her sleazy lawyer threatened Montecristi’s provincial prosecutor off our criminal suit, and as a final middle finger to us, Danielle hired a dump truck to leave two huge mounds of rubble directly in front of our house, blocking street access by car. (There’s a photo celebrating her vandalism on the Mirador San Jose website.) That was in May. Those mounds are still there.

Of no matter now.

Later, she temporarily obstructed the sale of our home at the canton land registry – because, she claimed, we owed her eighteen bucks for water consumption, from some unspecified period in the distant past. She wouldn’t provide evidence when we asked for it. We paid her anyway.

(Let it never be said that Danielle is too imperial to brawl over chump change. If there’s a victory to be had, no matter how inconsequential the battlefield, you can bet she’ll take that first sucker punch while you’re busy lacing up your gloves.)

Again, now, of no matter.

We are free. I can’t find words to describe the relief we feel these days.

Ecuador awaits

When we return to Ecuador in November, from our summer away in Canada, it will be to our new home on the beach in San Clemente.

We will decorate, because lawn furniture in the living room is not a statement we care to make to our guests, or to our backsides. We will travel again, because it’s safe to do so, pandemically speaking. Also, because travel is much more entertaining when you’re not anchored to a frothing lunatic. I will write anew of our adventures.

It’s been a lousy two years. We’ve all had a lousy two years, and this is our version of it. Time now to move on, don’t you think? I have no regrets. I’m not angry. I won’t waste my time to nurse a particularly florid grievance.

Ecuador awaits. All of it. We’ve seen so little, and there’s so much more to experience. Her thrumming Andean markets. Her ancient temples. Her volcanoes and rainforests and hidden Amazonian treasures.

Or simply to lean back, a cold beer in hand, gazing out over the emerald Pacific, and allowing my thoughts to drift away on the coastal tides.

I can’t wait. It’s been too long since I said that. I can’t wait to be back.