Manta, Ecuador




We started the day with a tour of a button factory (what can I say?). Here they still make them strictly by hand from very hard nuts. These deluxe types are shipped to Italy for fancy designers to use who don’t like plastic.

After we drove a bit to Monticristi, home of the Panama hat. Regarding the name, executives working on the Panama Canal wore them and Teddy Roosevelt made them famous when he was down there.



Each one takes at least three weeks and it is brutal back-breaking work.



The best ($1,000+) can be wound so tight you can pull them through a wedding ring and put it right back on your head and they will look like new.



Allyn bought me one that was a bit small.





Then it was off to a museum to give Allyn a chance to be her silly self with her new Panama hat.

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