It's HOT in Guayaquil!!

Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
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Trip End Jul 06, 2011


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Where I stayed
Hotel Sander Guayaquil
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 4 Jan 7 Bus from Quito to Guayaquil - Not sure why but I didn't sleep too well the previous night. I guess, with so many journeys coming up, I do not want to miss one by sleeping in. I have breakfast at 8am, it's the usual, I take down my book with me. I'm reading Michael Palin´s Full circle (His journey around the pacific countries) and one of the hotel staff notices my bookmark. It's a picture of Mr Bean, with his parents. They sent out a card/postcard which has his DOB, weight, time of birth etc. So, I introduce the lady to the monkey, Kim and of course, Bean!! It´s also his 6 month birthday, Happy Birthday Mi Sobrino! Head upstairs, grab my bag, and on my way out, I discuss with the hostel owner my next stop, which is Guayaquil. She didn't seem so keen on it, but agreed when, couple of days I'm spending there is long enough.

As ever, Tony Border might be running late for his bus, grabbing a taxi became quite an effort, but luckily one turned up. I make my bus with plenty of time to spare, and from 10am, it became 9 hours of sitting on my butt! On the way, outside Quito, I see some lads juggling at the front of a traffic jam on a dual carriageway, I also spot they had a puppet of Dracula?? Two hours outside of Quito, we arrive at some mountains that we have to go around, and around and around. Hmm, I'm feeling sick. Was it something I ate last night? I look behind me, great, no toilet!! Ok concentrate! The more turns we make, the worse it gets! While this is happening, we pass waterfall, after waterfall, I must have counted about 15 in total, yet I dare move to get my camera out. I guess this plastic bag holding my crisps/chips could do?? Luckily, I fell asleep! Phew. I wake up to straight, comfy roads! 

I deliberately placed my bag above me with a couple of the straps dangling down so I knew it was still there. Someone, being anal, kept tidying up my bag. I'm thinking it's gone, stand up, check and its there. This happened about 3 times till I gave up and assumed it was still there. Opposite me on the bus was a very buxom young lady. She caught the eye of the toothless co bus driver, and at one point I think he gestured ´would you like a crisp.....at the front of the bus?' She waved him off. Course, he let her off on a non scheduled stop, so 5 minutes later when two lads wanted to get off as well, on a non scheduled stop, he basically told them to get lost. Typical!!



Driving along the Ecuador countryside is something completely different to what you would expect on a Western motorway/highway. There are villages, villages raised off the ground, houses, farms, shops that live right on the road. I guess they benefit from passing trade, but it's not what you would expect. It reminds me of Mexico, people drying out chilli's by the side of busy roads, something one would not get driving along the M1. We have one stop before we hit the hot and noisy Guayaquil. The roads are packed! This used to be the capital, but is a million times different to peaceful Quito. We are dropped of at a different bus stop, not what I was expecting. I try to pick up my next bus ticket, but the taxi driver along with a security guard tells me it's not possible. It's weird, I do not understand a word these two were telling me, but in very way I knew what they were saying.On taxi ride, I'm super disappointed to see a Hooters Bar. Really!? In Ecuador? I guess those Western business people/tourists need their $6 hot dogs served with local booty!  Get to Hotel Sander, and room is to my satisfaction. It has a bed, a TV, en suite and AC. Guayaquil feels like New York in July, hot and sticky and nasty to sleep without AC.

So, today I walked 0.1 miles, I guess that involved walking on the bus, walking off it.

Temperature in Guayaquil, 30 degrees C, 86 degrees F 

Day 5 Jan 8th - Guayaquil - I wake up to Arsenal - Leeds in the FA Cup, then head out to get my bus ticket for Tumbes. Everything goes without any hitches and I'm back in my hotel getting ready for the day. Guayquil is super hot and sticky, it is manic and fierce. Today is 30 degree C. I head out to 9 October street. 
 
This is downtown Guayaquil. It's chaotic! People are streaming around everywhere. I'm yet to be propositioned, but I'm fully alert to my surroundings! For this trip, my rule is no IPOD during the day. I'm just an easy target (I clearly stand out), plus listening to some tunes while chilling in the evening is something to look forward to. Also, I won't buy food or drink from any chains, ie McDonalds. I don't see the point in travelling thousands of miles to eat crap food, when I can enjoy some local cuisine and support local business people.

I'm heading for Malecon 2000.
The rebuilt promenade. It's supposed to be very safe and even safer at night. I notice police officers and security guards everywhere. I guess that is a good thing, but it makes you wonder why so many? The Promenade is exquisite.

It is very much a family orientated design. Lots of play grounds and fun activities for the kids to play on/with. For the adults, there are benches and great locations to soak up the view and take a few snaps. There are also ice creams! Everywhere! I dare not, not with an 8 hour bus journey tomorrow. I make my way north to Las Penas. A small hill at the top of the promenade, surrounded by small houses and cafes and more ice cream vendors, with a lighthouse and Cerro Santa Anna at the top. Again, there are more stairs!! 400 to be precise. I stumble up, one at a time, stopping for breath..err...I mean to check out the view. The higher I go, the more intense the breeze from the river. Now we are talking. I reach the lighthouse, climb the spiral stairs and lift up my arms.....slightly. The view is 360 degrees of Guayaquil. Behind me, planes are landing and departing the International airport, I take a snap for Andy. 
 
Looking south, I see Guayaquil for all its worth. The view is worthwhile, it doesn't have the same impact as Quito (from various angles) but it still makes you appreciate how vast this city is.

I'm pleasantly cooled now, I head back down the stairs and check out a couple of bars for a quick drinky in the evening, I also walk past more ice cream shops.......shall I?  

 
 
I walk back along the promenade to the local market, the Bahia street market.
 
I make sure my important possessions are at least in a zipped pocket and head in. People are shoving jeans, tshirts, watches, dvds in my face. I make little response and keep walking, every bump, every push you're wondering what have they taken. I even stop to watch a penalty shoot out involving AC Milan. That seems a little silly. so after a few mins I breeze my way down through to the end of the market, and then walk back up another way. One market caught my attention, some guy selling used remote controls. I know my brother Pete would have definitely found a bargain or two! I make my way to the local Cathedral and then call it an afternoon. To my surprise, my afternoon has been ice cream less!

After a quick nap, I spot the Seahawks and Saints are on the box on Wild Card Saturday. I watch the first half, then head out for dinner. 
 
I haven't eaten properly in a good 48 hours, so the chicken meal was very welcome. Even came with soup. I hope that stays down. I got to watch the Spanish dubbed Mr and Mrs Smith whilst in the local restaurant. It's just as bad in Spanish! I grab the end of the game to see the Seahawks win, then Spanish TV tells me the Jets v Colts are next. Am I really going to waste an evening watching those two? I head out! The Colts had a bad season and shouldn't be in the play offs, and the Jets, well, they aren't worth staying in for.

I want to see the Malecon 2000 at night and see the lighthouse lit up also. On my way, I'm propositioned for the first time. A lady with a South African accent pleading poverty and needs some cash. At least she was to the point. I tell her I'm unable to help. The Malecon 2000 (Promenade) is more beautiful at night. There seems a lighter atmosphere, everyone is much more relaxed and I'm guessing the cool night is helping. I climb those stairs again, of Las Penas and pick a bar. I grab one beer and enjoy watching a group of 5 young ladies sing some karaoke. I've brought my little schedule book with me, two locations down, countless more to go. I call it a night after one beer and head back to the hotel.

Today I walked 3.33 miles and temp again was 30 degrees C, 86 degrees F



I'm so happy that I included Ecuador in my trip. I planned to exclude it based on political tensions, but after some more research, popped it on the schedule. The people are friendly, they look so happy and the country was a pleasure to visit. I do intend to return one day, to visit the Galapagos Islands. It was excluded on this trip based on price and the fact you're stuck on a cruise ship for a week, at the control and mercy of a tour guide. My intentions for this trip is to be in total control of where I'm going and what I'm doing. Plus, I refuse to step aboard a cruise ship until I turn 50 or if it's completely free of charge.

Next on the trip, Tumbes, Peru.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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Comments

Dave on

Dinner looks interesting! Good man, dont give McDonalds any of your cash!

Pete on

Ah man! We actually need a remote control..any chance you can go back to the market for me? Maybe if you had long hair then the bus driver would have offered you a crisp!

Kimberly Border on

Hey Ant! Sounds like Ecuador was a good time.
Good for you for passing on the ice cream...maybe you should get a paper bag and keep it with you on those long bus journeys with no bathrooms!

I must admit I did frequent the odd fast food chain on my travels...mostly when I had food poisoning and I wanted the comfort of eating something familiar. Who knew there was a A & W in Malaysia! Oh that and Cup O'Noodles from the 7 Eleven.

Looking forward to hearing about Peru!

PS - Easton has his first tooth!
XO

ma border and andy on

trying to work out the type of aircraft on the end of the runway!!! great pic. cant imagine what hooters is! must be nice to feel warm . grandad sends his love,as we all do .looking forward to peru..take care ..x

Adrian Stone on

Just stumbled into your blog. Very interesting. Loved this entry on Guayaquil, I have been living here for the last year+ and trust me, it is even hotter right now. Guayaquil is a fantastic city and if you are ever in this area again, give me a shout and perhaps we can take you around and show you some sites. Cheers.
astone@ecuadorunplugged.com

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