Blogs from West, Ecuador, South America

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South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil December 14th 2014

I woke up early at 8am despite a late night the night before staying up until 2am packing my things. I was full of excitement at the prospect of visiting South America for the first time and had a few things to sort before I departed. I left the house at midday and went to the shop to pick up some new hiking boots and a mosquito net for the rainforest as well as a medical kit. I had just enough time to sit down to have breakfast at my favourite bakery near the train station. With three hours until my flight I decided to leave, as I was excited to catch my flight to go travelling. However, upon arrival, the day took a turn for the worse. During the check-in, the flight assistant notified me ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil December 4th 2014

Guayaquil - Day 11 After breakfast, we spent some time on the porch, reviewing our information on Guayaquil. A friendly dog came by and settled down under Bob's hammock. We decided to call a taxi to get to the bus station. Cab fair was cheap, $1.50, and definitely worth not struggling with our luggage. The bus was very prompt, very comfortanle, approximately a 3 hour trip for $6.00. As we got out of Montanita, several little towns had hammocks for sale. We followed the beach for quite a while, just the sand and no structures or people. In Valdivia, supposedly the oldest culture in Ecuador, fishing boats lined the beach. Then passed a few little shacks with tall sunflowers in the yard. Saw a long dock protruding out into the ocean with a big pipe within, ... read more
La Rotunda on the Malecon
Christmas in the mall along river
The tropical garden

South America » Ecuador » West » Montañita December 3rd 2014

Montanita - Day 10 Another low-key but very relaxing day. Checked booking.com and made reservations ahead for a hostel in Cuenca, our second stop after Montanita. Walked the beach again this morning. A big group of young school kids ran down to the beach, all in gray sweats and white t-shirts, then ran along the ocean. We got some strange looks, as blond hair here is very unusual. (Might be other reasons we looked strange too!) We walked by a juggler on the beach, juggling five items in the air. Also saw a large dead eel. As we returned from our walk, a bike with an umbrella and a big cart of fruit came down our hostel road. We got some good fruit for breakfast tomorrow. After some quality time in the hammock, we walked into ... read more
Feathered friend
Far end of beach
Beach juggler

South America » Ecuador » West » Montañita December 2nd 2014

Montanita - Day 9 After a breakfast of fresh fruits and pastries, we moved to Comuno Montanita Hosteleria further up the beach. It's a little further to walk to town, but the beach here is very quiet and private. Rather than a room, we have a little cabin with a thatched roof. The roof rafters and the porch posts are all bamboo. There is a hammock on the front porch so Bob is happy! We can look out the front door and see the ocean. It has Internet, hot water, and is very clean. And best of all, there is a very friendly black dog here. Today was a very relaxing day. We walked the beach, spent some time in town. Had a late lunch again at el Sazon Guayaco. Today they included a big bowl ... read more
Bob found another hammock
New friend
Noisy birds in town

South America » Ecuador » West » Montañita December 1st 2014

Montanita - Day 8 Breakfast in the room this morning. We had our coil to heat up coffee water in our cups. Coffee, fruit, and pastries made a great breakfast. Walked the beach to check out how to transport our luggage to the next hostal. The sand near the water was hard and easy to walk along, so we will probably move via the beach rather than by the main road. The beach was quiet and beautiful this morning. There were several dogs on the beach, a couple of them frolicking in the water. A few boys were practicing their long jumps. Next was our ATM adventure. We tried a couple banks, and we couldn't get any money out. Then found out that maximum withdrawal is $100, but you can do this up to three times ... read more
Lunch at el Sazon Guayaco
Along the Malecon
View from hotel roof

South America » Ecuador » West » Montañita November 30th 2014

Montanita - Day 7 This morning we bought our bus tickets to Montanita. Had to show a passport this time. Again a reasonable price, $5 each for a 3 hour ride. Only 5 others were on the bus at the Manta depot. About a half hour out of Manta, we passed through Montecristo. This is where the Panama hats were initially made. These hats and wooden carvings were for sale in stores all along the road. Shortly after a lady came on the bus with a big tray of baked goods. We bought a couple from her since we had missed breakfast. A while later we passed by a thirty foot corn cob statue. Not really sure of the significance! Further along we pulled into the Jipijapa bus station. Love that name (hippihappa)! This time we ... read more
Hostal Esperanto
Early Christmas in the park

South America » Ecuador » West » Manta November 29th 2014

Manta - 11/29/2014 - Day 6 Hotel was quiet last night, considering we're on a busy street. Went out to explore Manta. Walked through the central area and the markets. Many fruit stands, live chickens, roosters, crabs, fabric, everything you could ever want. We checked out Hostel San Francisco, another option from Lonely Planet. Price was just the same as Hotel Leo ($35). We crossed the river (Rio Manta), which separates Manta from the little town of Tarqui. 'Tarqui is a little more run-down than Manta. Found an entry to the beach, several huge ships in the harbor. We looked for a place for breakfast with fruit, but just found fish and chicken. Stopped for lemonade and water. Hot aleady at 9:30am. Loud music. In the evening there are many soccer and volleyball games on the ... read more
Great fruit bowl
Big sea creature
The boatyard

South America » Ecuador » West » Manta November 28th 2014

Manta - 11/28/2014 - Day 5 After a good breakfast at the hostel, we took off for lower altitudes. The hostel took us by truck to Zumbahua for a very reasonable fee of $6. A little girl in a pink hat and braids was our traveling companion. She liked to play peek-a-boo. We passed a few herds of sheep on the side of the road. Zumbahua didn't have an actual bus depot. .We just waited for the bus on the side of the road. We are headed to Quevedo, then on to Manta. A few men in trucks wanted to drive us to Quevedo but we said we would wait for the bus. The bus was only $5 total, for a three hour ride. Local ladies got on the bus along the way. Many had babies ... read more
Little truck companion
Oceanside in Manta
Fresh fish

South America » Ecuador » West » Santa Elena November 1st 2014

Zum Busterminal haben wir ca eine Stunde gebraucht und sind genau rechtzeitig angekommen. Die Busfahrt ging um 9 Uhr abends los und um ca 7:25 Uhr in der Früh bin ich dann in Santa Elena angekommen, habe leider nicht viel geschlafen, konnte aber den restlichen Tag entspannen. Zuerst musste ich aber beim Terminal eine halbe Stunde warten,weil Patricia gemeint hat, dass der Bus erst um 8 ankommt und ich somit erst um die Uhrzeit abgeholt wurde. Die Familie in der ich hier lebe besteht aus der Mutter Elizabeth, dem Vater Christian, ihrem 8 Monate alten Baby Domenica und Christians Eltern. Beide sind sehr jung, Elizabeth ist 25 und Christian 29. Alles ist sehr einfach, das Dach ist ein Wellblechdach, die Lampen sind nur herumhängende Glühbirnen usw. Außerdem gibt es nur kaltes Wasser, also fallen die Duschen ... read more

South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil October 5th 2014

In my previous post I detailed how I ended up flying into Guayaquil instead of Quito. The flighty was shorter than I expected, but longer than my body was prepared to take. After traipsing all over Miami International Airport I was exhausted, but I could not get comfortable enough on the plane to really get any rest. Surprisingly, even though takeoff was at 10:00 pm, around 11:30 they served a light meal. I had the taco salad which was surprisingly good. As we prepared to land, and came down out of the clouds and could see the lights of Guayaquil, the first thing I noticed was a huge lit McDonald's sign. There were also significant fireworks in the distance. I took it as a welcome to Ecuador sign, and indulged the fantasy that they were expressly ... read more




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