• Get Together at Las Olas Beach

    The last things we expected when we arrived in Bahia de Caraquez, was to meet people from our own place, the province of Quebec in Canada.  After a one or two weeks in town, our daughter arrived home saying "I met other people from Quebec on the street, a family of six!" and she gave me their phone number.  They were planning to stay in Bahia for around 6 months as they were in a sabbatical year visiting the country.  We had in plan to call them later during the week, but I ended up losing their phone number (a server might get it, sticked to a $20 bill).

    I told myself: "a family of six... we will bump into them later for sure".  And that's exactly what happened, just before we moved in our new place.

    Since then, we saw them a few times and it's really cool to speak French! ;)

    They have a really cool blog where all the family participates.  Have a look at it here (sorry, it's in French!)

    Last week, we went to the Las Olas Ecuador beach at low tide and spend the afternoon there with them, picnicking, playing on the beach, and having fun in the

    waves.  It was on a Sunday afternoon.  It was so quiet that we only saw one other person who drove by us during the 3-4 hours we spend there!  Quiet and peaceful?  You bet!!

    Here are a few pictures to make you dream a little...

    I found plenty of living Sand Dollar on the beach.  Here's one.  I have some footage to do a video, but that will be for later.

    Even Zara was running around, playing in the waves and having a lot of fun!

  • Ceibo Valley hires former Jack Nicklaus golf course builder

    Ceibo Valley hires former Jack Nicklaus golf course builder

    Las Olas Ecuador just released a great news!  Jerry Pierman is joining their golf construction team!  Who's Jerry Pierman?  I agree, he's not a renowned golf professional, but amongst golf course builders, he's the equivalent of Jack Nicklaus, one of the best of all time!  He worked for Jack Nicklaus and was the vice-president of his golf course building company for over a decade.

    He came to visit Las Olas project earlier this year and was amazed by the property and the golf course routing.  Now he will be in a position to make sure that Ceibo Valley will be one of the best golf course out there.  Las Olas is really doing everything possible to make sure it's the best real estate project in Ecuador.

    You can read the full press release here.

  • Video Update of Las Olas Construction

    Have a look at this YouTube Video: 

    Wow, have you seen the amazing golfer swinging  at 1:53?  I would love having that swing... oh, wait, that's me!! ;)

    That interview with Randy Russ was filmed nearly a month ago, so a lot of things already happened on the Las Olas property since then.  A really good news for golfers is the Ceibo Valley golf course construction is quickly improving day after day.  It's amazing how quick the guys are working at the moment with two full-time shapers.  The 13th hole is now completed, so is the 17th.

    Yesterday, we went to have a look at the 18th and they were working on the green complex.  It will come up as an extraordinary finishing hole with two options off the tee, two or three options on the second shot and a third shot that could be a putt for eagle, a wedge shot into a well-protected green... or very difficult chip/recovery shot if you tried the green in two and missed it!  Anything right on every shot is in the ravine... Did I say your ball will have to carry 5 different small arms of the ravine along the way?  

    Yes, these are all your friends looking at you from the clubhouse terrace... ;)

  • Driving on the Las Olas Ecuador Beach

    We went to the Las Olas Ecuador property this weekend and since it was low tide, we decided to drive there by the beach!

    It's only 9km from Bahia, so it's really quick to get there by the beach.  Only requirements are the low tide and a 4x4 or a motorbike (you can also do it in bicycle or even barefoot, but that's a little longer). By the way, sunscreen is a must!!

    Here's a little video taken just before we arrived at Las Olas Ecuador beach.  Simply gorgeous!  I'm just so happy that we were able to find a real estate project gem like this on the coast of Ecuador!

  • Moving to our new place in Bahia de Caraquez

    Yesterday, October 1st, we moved to the place we rented before our house at Las Olas project is built.  It's basically two apartments, that we converted into a single house.  It's been completely renovated (they are still working on it as we speak), and pretty well located.  We have a nice view of the Rio Chone and we are walking distance from everything.

    We hope it will be quieter than at the other place... The first night was ok, but it was still a little noisy. The main issue is the fact that the windows are SO CHEAP!!  I've been discussing that with David Maksymuik of Las Olas who showed me the high-quality PVC windows they will be using at Las Olas. That's the kind of windows we are used to in North America, so it makes me laugh when people here are saying it doesn't exist in Ecuador.  It exists if you are willing to pay for it!

    Taking about Las Olas Ecuador, the construction is progressing well.  They recently started to build the retaining wall between the first and second row of golf course homes in the Vista al Mar community and pouring concrete.  I haven't been to the property this week, but I saw some pictures and spoke with new owners who went to visit.  Trenches to put the underground utilities are also in the making and they are preparing the ground in order to pour the first foundation.  I'll keep you updated with that in the next weeks.

    We are also preparing a visit, so the kids can experiment the shorter tee box distances at Ceibo Valley golf club at Las Olas.  We were thinking of doing that this Sunday, but since we still have a lot of things to do at our new place, we might delay that by a week or two.  Anyway, I will take photos and videos and share these moments with you.  I think it will be pretty cool.  If all was well designed, my kids should be approaching the green with a similar club as I will do.  Isn't great?  I always found it weird that they can't score a par because the hole is simply too long for them to be reachable in regulation.  The design of Ceibo Valley should allow them to have much more fun playing golf!

    From what I've heard, holes #13 and #17 are nearly in final shape condition.  The construction crew will soon be jumping to holes #12 and #18.  Once that is done, they will only have holes #10 and #11 to do before completing the back nine.

    Irrigation system and seeds are on their way and the final work should start on holes 14, 15 and 16 during the month of November.  Of course, we cross our fingers that El Nino won't show up...

    Back to our new apartment, we bought a desk chair that required a screwdriver to be assembled.  As you can imagine, we left all tools in Mauritius, so I went to the hardware store and bought this nice basic tool box

    I was pretty happy with my finding, but as I started to unwrap the packaging, I realized that it's impossible to remove the plastic cover... without a screwdriver!! ;)

    Anyway, I managed to grab the screwdriver and the right Phillips bit to deliver my new tools from the package. We now have a nice new desk chair and another story to tell to our friends.

  • Building Ceibo Valley Golf Course at Las Olas Ecuador

    It's been only three weeks since we arrived in Bahia de Caraquez, experiencing our new lifestyle: no car, daily walk on the beach (or the Malecon at high tide), fresh fruits and vegetables, a lot less stress, a lot more friends,...

    It's amazing how people are welcoming here, especially other members of the Las Olas eco-community who are living here waiting for their house to get built.

    Talking about building, it's amazing to witness the amount of work the construction crews do on the ground each day.  I will start posting more and more construction updates through the Las Olas Facebook page, with pictures and videos.

    Yesterday, a few members of the Las Olas community were invited to hit golf balls on the future Ceibo Valley golf club at Las Olas Ecuador in order to make the last adjustments to tee off positioning for each category of golfer, exact routing of fairways and hazards, and the green complex locations.

    Final shaping of holes 14th, 15th and 16th is nearly completed and ready for seeding.  This will be an exciting time!  We also had the chance to be amongst the first to hit balls on holes 13th and 17th.  The attached video shows me driving on the 13th hole from the future blue tee box location to the fairway located straight between the Ceibo tree on the left and the smaller tree on the right.  It's an uphill par 4, the longest on the back nine, and it will play against the wind coming from the ocean.  Once on the green, we should have a nice view at the ocean and the cart path bringing us to the 14th tee box will be located next to the horse pastures.

  • Moving to Bahia de Caraquez

    As I was saying in my latest post, we were flying to Guayaquil, Ecuador on September 2nd.  Done!  We are now living in Bahia de Caraquez! :)

    The trip went smoothly.  Since our dog was traveling in cargo, we had to drop her at the cargo terminal in the morning.  She seemed to be happy to go in her kennel, despite the fact she knew what will happen...

    Once we arrived at the airport in Montreal, we had to check in 8 pieces of luggage, plus three golf bags (we managed to put both kid clubs in one bag to avoid a fourth extra charge of $100US).

    Thumbs up to Copa Airlines staff in Montreal who was very kind and patient...

    My son and I were very happy once seated...

    When we approached Panama City airport, I felt a little bit disappointed by what I saw.  Too many skylines for me...  That said, the Tocumen airport is absolutely wonderful to transit by.  We had 53 minutes between our flights, so we were a little nervous.  Not for us, but for our luggage... and our dog!!

    No worries, you exit the plane directly into the terminal building and you just have to walk to your next flight gate.  It took us a big 2 minutes from Gate #8 to Gate #1.  Just before boarding, we were able to see our suitcases coming in the cargo haul... and a few minutes later, our dog, in a special vehicle for pet handling!  Both planes were nearly new Boeing 737-800, both flights arrived in advance of scheduled time, food wasn't great, but staff was very keen and helpful.  On top of that, it was the cheapest airfare we found to fly Montreal to Ecuador!


    We are now in Ecuador, beginning a new phase of our journey.  It started on the wrong foot, as it took me over 3 hours to get our dog out of customs!!  A special thanks to Kim Maksymuik who went to a nearby shopping mall with my wife and my kids who were starving.  Thanks also to David Maksymuik who patiently waited for me and drove me around the airport as I was trying to figure out where to go between, customs, carga, agrocalidad, cargo company, etc.  I kept my calm and was able to take her out after four different steps and a lot of tries.  I documented everything we did to bring our dog to Ecuador and I will probably do a specific post (maybe even a video!) on how to import a dog in Ecuador for the future owners at Las Olas Ecuador.

  • Moving to Ecuador!

    Moving to Ecuador!

    It's now official, we are moving to Ecuador in two days!

    I have to admit the last few weeks (even months) were a little crazy.  Selling all our belongings, moving out from Mauritius, "trying" to take a few weeks off in Canada, resigning from my current position, preparing the move, etc.  Now, it's too late to look behind and we are really excited about what we are heading for.

    I can't wait to see how things changed at Las Olas since my visit in November 2014.  I saw many updates on Las Olas Ecuador private Facebook group, but it's nothing compared like being there on the ground.  Moreover, I just hope my wife and my kids will also fell in love with this amazing real estate project in Ecuador.  It's been a dream for us to live on the coast and we are looking forward to making it a reality.

    Seaview from our terrace, amazing golf course in our backyard, private nature reserve, long strecht of untouched beach on the Pacific coast, tennis club, equestrian center, beach club with a spa, restaurant, fitness center and multiple pools overlooking the ocean... I hope to see you soon at Las Olas Ecuador!

  • Construction is about to begin at Las Olas Ecuador

    We are in the middle of our yearly family holiday in Montreal, but I just saw an update from Las Olas Ecuador real estate project, stating that the home construction is about to begin.  Since it's an exciting news, I wanted to share it on our blog.  The first row of golf course villas in the Vista al Mar community are currently in the last stage of preparation before the start of construction.  

    This is the communication owners received this week from David Maksymuik, Founding Partner of Las Olas Ecuador, on Facebook:

    "We are now preparing to commence construction of the one meter high retaining walls located where the terrace immediately behind the first row of golf course homes. (see diagram below for design). This will be done in unison with the installation of the water, sewer, power and water lines.

    Once the lines are in we will complete the curbing, drainage and roads for the VM-A1 through VM-A31 golf course homes. We expect to commence constructions of the first homes very shortly."

    David also posted an aerial picture showing the construction progress of the Las Playas and Vista al Mar communities, along the 14th, 15th and 16th holes of the Ceibo Valley golf course in Ecuador.  It looks very promising.  

    In the meantime, the whole family played golf last week here in Quebec.  We want to make sure our swing will be ready for Las Olas! ;)

  • Traveling with a dog

    Our dog is our third child.  We wouldn't be able to move to Ecuador without her!

    Since nearly two months now, she can spend time in "her house", well her transport box, and she really enjoys it.  She already traveled quite a lot.  From Reunion Island to Mauritius, back to Reunion Island and then to Montreal, Canada... before flying again with us to Mauritius.  It's now time to go back to Montreal, and after a few weeks of holiday... fly to our final destination, Ecuador!  That's over 40,000km of traveling.  Not bad for a dog!  

    Since she's now 8 years old, the odds are good that Ecuador will be her final destination.  Most airline companies do not accept to travel animals over 11 years old.  We will see.  More and more North Americans and Europeans move to Ecuador for retirement, so that might be where she will retire.

    In order to finalize the paperwork for the export, we went to Mauritius Veterinary Services headquarters in Réduit.  This is where our dog did her quarantine four years ago.  In Mauritius, the very modern is never far from the very outdated, and this place is a good example.  When you are there, you feel like you are back in time, 50 years ago...  

    I wanted to take a picture inside, but I wanted to make sure the Chief Veterinary would sign off the forms so our dog can freely travel.  

    That's why I discretely took a picture outside. ;)

    Trust me, this place is a real museum!  

    We were happy to learn that it's quite easy and straightforward to bring a pet to Ecuador and we are just looking forward to it.

    That might be the last post in Mauritius... we are leaving in 3 days, so not sure I will find time to post before leaving.  Anyway, it's been an amazing adventure, but we are now looking for the next chapter of the story.  An 11-hour flight to Paris, then a 7-hour flight to Montreal where we will take a few weeks off to spend with friends and family (plus preparing immigration paperwork for Ecuador).  After that, see you in Ecuador!