We arrived in Guayaquil to the main bus terminal about 3:00 in the afternoon. Guayaquil does it right, their bus terminal is gigantic, has a mall and sits right next to the airport. We grabbed some US$ from the ATM (so wild that they use the USD as their currency). In the food court we grabbed some Pizza Hut. Talked to information. Then took a $3 cab ride to the city center. We had the cab driver drop us off near Iglesia San Francisco near the Malacon district, the Miraflores of Guayaquil (aka gringo safe spot). The Malacon recently underwent a massive facelift and is now the nicest part of the city. It is about a 2km long section that hugs the Rio Guayas. The Malacon was quite different than Miraflores. In Miraflores most buildings were two, maybe three stories tall. Here, everything was much bigger, maybe 10 stories on average. It was much more city like. We did not have any luck finding a hostal there so we walked a few blocks inland to the city center, around the citys largest park, Parque del Centenario, also a safer area. There were a number of hostals here and we settled on
Hotel Galapagos for the first night. Nights 2,3,4&5 we moved to Hostal Madrid and night 6 we stayed at Hotel Montesa. Each served their own purpose. Hotel Galapagos allowed us to get settled in to the city and was close to 9 de Octubre, the main street. Madrid has excellent access to internet and travel services. And Montesa had A/C for the cheapest price!
Guayaquil is very hot and humid. It was probably 90 degrees every day with 99% humidity, which often turned to 100% in the afternoon when it rained.
While we were in Guayaquil for a week there really is not much to talk about. I will cover the Galapagos cruise hunt in the other blog post and that was most everything we did. Sarah, unfortunately, got beat up by our anti-malaria drug, so we spent a lot of time in the hotels.
While prices went up in Ecuador from Peru, we were still able to find ~$2 (5 soles) lunches. Almost every night for dinner we had really good $1.25 rice and beans.
The two highlights of Guayaquil were that I was able to watch the first 2 nights of the NFL draft
from the hostal computers, and Parque Bolivar.
Many of you know I am a huge Eagles fan and I also really get in to the NFL draft. Despite not going through my ameatur scouting process and developing a list of players I think the Eagles will pick, it was still great to be able to watch the draft.
Parque Bolivar was a pretty interesting little park in the city center. Guayaquil might be the only city in the world with iguanas living downtown. And not just living there, they run the place. There must be 100 or more iguanas in the park, catching some sun, climbing the trees (and sometimes falling out of them), and watching the tourists gawk over them. It was a really cool site to see.
From Guayaquil we are off to Puerto Ayora - going to the Galapagos!!!
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