Pit Stop in Guayaquil

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

 On April 2, we took the bus from Mancora to Guayaquil. The border crossing was annoying, consisting of a small building on the side of the highway, with two small windows looking out onto the parking lot.  We had to stand in a line in the scorching sun for close to an hour, while they slowly stampd everyone through and let lots of people who'd arrived in cars budge to the front of the line.  On the bright side, there was an ice cream man!  I bought a delicious black raspberry ice cream pop that was worth every penny of the 75c I spent on it.

As we pulled into Guayaquil, there was a beautiful sunset over the harbor but tons of traffic clogging the roads and a choking smell of exhaust in the air.  We grabbed a cab to the Iguanazu Hostal,  in the northern suburbs of the city.

The Iguanazu turned out to be pretty expensive, costing us $15 each for a crowded dorm room with no air-conditioning.  It was so hot at night that we really could’ve used it!  I employed the traditional cooling method my uncle refers to as, "Camden-style air-conditioning."  That is, I soaked my bath towel in cold water, laid it over the bottom sheet, and slept on top of it.  It really works!

Despite its temperature problems, the Iguanazu was lovely and perfect in every other way.  The hostal is made up of a large Spanish-style house and several outbuildings, all set into a steep hillside overlooking Guayaquil.  There’s a pretty outdoor dining terrace shaded by a flowered arbor, a porch with hammocks and a pool.  Everyone loves the chubby bulldog and gray cat who live there.  There was also wifi and a good breakfast of eggs, rolls, fruit, etc.

We didn’t spend much time in Guayquil, since there’s little to do there besides strolling its one famous shopping street.  It’s really more of a city for doing business than for touring.  After just one night there, we flew to Quito.

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