Bananas, bananas, bananas
Trip Start Jul 07, 2008
270Trip End May 27, 2010
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Where I stayed
Hotel Araujo, Machala, Ecuador (15 usd)
Very warm but cloudy
naranjal – Machala (96 kms)
Today was all about bananas and cocoa, but mostly bananas. We've decided to call Machala The Big Banana and we think it has a bit more going for it than The Big Apple, where they don't even grown fruit! Most of the ride was spent riding through banana plantations for as far as the eye could see, which wasn't very far because it's dead flat, something we're still trying to get used to in Ecuador. Well, apart from a few little bumps at the start of the day, oh, and the big mountains we could see in the distance yesterday but not today, the mist was too thick.
It was one of those oppressive, warm and very sticky days, with a very light drizzle most of the way. That was fine until we hit the roadworks which then meant getting covered in mud. It has just taken me 20 minutes to scrub it off my body, whatever it was, but my coat is ruined and so too is my hat. Hey ho, that's life on a bicycle in South America I'm afraid.
The highlight was seeing a little owl sitting on the telegraph wires. We have little owls in the UK, and this explanation could get a mite confusing because I don't have a capital l or o on the keyboard now (remember that grain of sand in India?) but I'll try anyway. In the UK there is an owl called The little owl (imagine that's a capital l and o) like there is a little (capital l) Egret and Great Egret. The little owl I saw today was small, therefore little without a capital l, and I have no idea of it's proper name. I'll try and find out, however, I'm not even sure why I bothered trying to explain that!
Every few kms or so in the plantations there are packing areas. The bananas go through a few baths (at least 3 tanks of water) and then are graded and boxed. There are bananas everywhere you look and they give them away at restaurants. Goodness me, you'd think people would be sick of them but they don't seem to be, they appear to eat them (along with cooked plaintain) at every opportunity). Everywhere we've been in Ecuador they serve up plaintain bbq'd, crisps, deep fried, in soups and roasted. We, on the other hand, do a good job of not eating them.
Tomorrow we cross the border into Peru, ooh, bit scary, but we know it's fear of the unknown. Bye bye Ecuador, we've loved being here, hola Peru!