The Final Decision

For us, making a big decision (for us) requires information, thought, and discussion. We’d been talking about buying a Panama hat for Joe for the last year (yes, the whole year) as we planned our trip to Ecuador. Now the time had come. We’d done our research online and visited several stores in Cuenca, looking at hats. We’d discussed logistics and how much we could (or should) spend.

So, here’s what we did. We walked back to Homero Ortega on a Saturday morning to find the perfect hats for Joe.

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Joe bought a $28 classic Panama hat for travel. The weight and fit were better than he had hoped for a handmade hat of lower quality.

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We think the look of the Panama hat is so much better looking than this one, his current travel hat, purchased 3 years ago at the airport in Kyoto, Japan.

We decided that Joe would also buy a second hat of much better quality (and, of course, higher price).   This hat is the one he had always wanted. It was beautiful and light – a true pleasure to wear. We had this one shipped back to the U.S. where our son, Joshua, will find a good place to store it. That hat will not go on long trips with us (where the danger of damage or loss is too great) but will be saved for future use walking about town back in the US.

And Beth decided her 20+ year old Tilley hat is still fine for hiking trips, but this style Panama hat suited her. She had the store change the hatband from black to grey, and then it was perfect.

And Beth decided her 20+ year old Tilley hat is still fine for hiking trips, but this style Panama hat suited her. She had the store change the hatband from black to grey, and then it was perfect.

So, you may wonder, what do Ecuadorians from Cuenca wear on their heads?

Felt hats are popular for traditionalists like this mother and daughter.

Felt hats are popular for traditionalists like this mother and daughter.

The hat, embroidered skirt, long braids, and carrying a load on your back captures perfectly the look of many older women we see on the street.

The hat, embroidered skirt, long braids, and carrying a load on her back captures perfectly the look of many older women we see on the street.

This woman had a true sense of style and carried off the look beautifully with her imposing Panama hat.

This woman had a true sense of style and carried off the look beautifully with her imposing Panama hat.

What a pleasure it is to know the art and craftsmanship that went into our handmade hats. We wear them every day. These will be the souvenirs of Ecuador that we’ll be enjoying and using for years to come.

 

 

May 2016

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Ecuador, South America - 2016 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Final Decision

  1. Great decision! Love the hats. Enjoy Ecuador for me.

  2. Annette Davey says:

    great photos, like the hats

  3. Betsy Eggers says:

    What a handsome look for both of you! Jack & I spoke of you to our youngest, Ollie, and his high school sweetheart, Paula, who ate dinner with us last night before their 2 1/2 month trip to Italy & France… They’ll be working and eating their way across the countries and meeting us in the Netherlands for a week-long family vacay with us and their sibs in Amsterdam. Love & miss you guys!!

  4. icelandpenny says:

    Congratulations on Joe’s fine new hat! Thanks for showing the local traditional hats, I’m happy to see that they are still being worn. Too often these customs have now disappeared. (And I’m dleighted you have a Tilley — but of course you do! — and that it has served so well for so long. Mine is not quite as venerable as yours, but I suspect will probably outlive me…)

  5. Brenda Bailey says:

    How nice to hear about panama hats!

    I too aquird one last year when visiting a beautiful house and garden called Stowe,,

    mine has a black ribbon and resulted in much better photos of me! and you both!

    Im enjoying my garden, which now that the trees have leaves, is not overlooked by anyone.

    Its really a bit of heaven, with lots of birds and squirrels.

    While I still enjoy reading about your travels, we need your help to deal with some crazy politicians.

    Democracy doesnt seem to work! But on June 23rd Im going to vote to stay in Europe, to avoid future wars!.

    much love Brenda

    20 May 2016,

  6. The perfect souvenirs. They look great, will last for a long time and you will have happy memories every time you wear them.

  7. Cliff Mail says:

    Very nice and great pics of all of the hats and wearers.

  8. Perfect fun and perfect selection! Also, you guys look great in them. There are so few travel mementos that really stand out, it’s worth the time to get them right. Abrazos – Susan

  9. plaidcamper says:

    The (new) hats are splendid! Love the photographs of folks about town in their hats – very stylish residents.

  10. Lynn Erskine says:

    Love the hats! Definite improvement for Joe. These pics of you guys (a rarity on your blog) and the people there are wonderful.

  11. Love your hats! My hubby looked and looked for the perfect straw hat! When he found it, he ended up leaving it in a shop while trying on more hats for a different excursion!

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