Day 61 - Day in Guayaquil

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South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil
December 4th 2018
Published: December 6th 2018
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Original plan of meeting Nadia at 09:00 was changed to 10:00 as Nadia thought Daisy would like a little more time to rest and she was correct. This gave me a bit of time to catch up on the travel blog as well. At 10:00 Nadia drove us to the Guayaquil Historical Park, which was the main attraction I planned to see but unfortunately when we got there, we were told the park was closed just for that day for maintenance, so that was a bit of bad luck as I originally planned to go there the day before but as it closed at 16:30 we didn’t think we had enough time. You win some, you lose some.

Instead Nadia drove us to an interesting commercial development which has offices but also lots of cafes and restaurants. It actually looked more like a holiday resort. We walked around there for a while and as we had expressed a desire to do some last minute shopping, Nadia took us to a market area just next to the Las Penas area we had visited yesterday and it was an excellent place to shop. There was a T-shirt design that Daisy wanted but couldn’t find in a ladies version on Santa Cruz that only cost her $7.50 (after Nadia helped get the price down) and it would have cost $20-30 in the Galapagos. We also bought some great leather goods for bargain prices. We spent quite a bit of time here before Nadia had to go to start her shift at the hotel at 15:00. She drove us a bit further down to the Malecon area at 13:00 and suggested we walk down for a look before heading into the city to the Iguana Park.

The Malecon was built in 2000 and built on reclaimed land on the river-side and is designed as an area for families to enjoy, a bit like Darling Harbour. It had amusement rides and a large ferris wheel, cafes, restaurants, monuments and a shopping mall with lots of small shops selling clothes and other goods. It was a very interesting and enjoyable area to have a walk through. We then saw another market area which was more geared towards locals (no souvenir type shops) which was like Paddy’s Markets with a lot of counterfeit name brand things and then walked to Iguana Park. A man who was selling tours started talking to me, even though he knew I wasn’t interested in a tour and told me there were about 200 iguanas in the park and that they never venture out of the park because they have the food they require within the park. It looks strange to see these iguanas in the middle of a busy city with no cages or anything to stop them from wandering anywhere they wish. He then told me how every night they start climbing the trees in the park which is what we witnessed as the afternoon progressed. He also said that sometimes they fall from the trees at a great height but just shake themselves a bit and walk off again.

We then had a look at the impressive Guayaquil Metropolitan Cathedral which was a gothic design with an extremely high ceiling and lovely stained-glass windows. By now it was 17:30 and Daisy, who had done an amazing job walking all afternoon with her sore leg decided she had had enough and after some unsuccessful attempts, eventually got a taxi to take us back to the hotel. When we got in the taxi driver didn’t put the meter on and when I asked him about it he waved his hand, so I was worried he was going to rip us off, but as it turned out, it took about 30 minutes because of the heavy peak hour traffic and I remembered that the hotel receptionist said we could get a taxi for $10 an hour. I was figuring I would give him $5 regardless of what he asked and on arrival, he did ask for $5 so we were all happy. We then saw Nadia at the reception desk but she was quite busy so we arranged to talk to her later at 20:30.

We went to our room for a rest and Daisy then reminded me that we wanted to visit the Supermarket to buy Ecuadorean coffee and chocolate, so I went down to reception to find out where the supermarket was. Nadia wasn’t there and another girl pointed in the direction I should go. I went out and couldn’t find it but could see a large place across the 8 lane highway with bright lights which I thought was a car yard (my night vision is not too good). When I returned to the hotel Nadia confirmed that that was indeed the supermarket and that I would have to cross the 8 lane highway when the lights changed. The problem was watching out for turning cars but I eventually got across and came back to the hotel with a stash of good quality chocolate but no coffee beans.

We then went down to eat at the hotel’s restaurant and ordered the traditional Ecuadorean potato soup which we love and we both ordered steaks which were cooked perfectly, so a lovely last South American dinner. We vow to look for an Ecuadorean potato soup recipe back home. Then it was a fairly late night for me as I tried to catch up a bit more with the blog and FB posts as well as do the final pack. Things were made a lot easier because we are allowed 2 extra bags on the final journey so used a duffle bag to stuff some of our clothes into.

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