Monument depicting the meeting of Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin
OK, three posts in one day (and the fact that I’m retyping this one since I accidentally deleted the first version) and I’m tired. Sorry for the boring title…but that’s about all I’ve got right now. I don’t want to leave it for next week though as I’m going to have tons of good stuff from the Galapagos to share…so here we go…
Clock Tower on the Malecon
While Quito is the better known and more historical major city of Ecuador, Guayaquil is actually larger, more modern and quite a bit cleaner (well, at least down here at the Malecon). I’d heard such horror stories about Guayaquil being dangerous and wretched but I’ve found that without exception, the tourist areas of bus terminal, airport and Malecon are much nicer and better kept than in Quito. Of course, it could just be that I’m still bitter
Garden on Malecon 2000
about getting pickpocketed in Quito…but I think actually Guayaquil will always have a place in my heart because it is the first place in all of Ecuador that I’ve seen a recycle bin. Oh the little things that make me happy.
I arrived last night after a longish day of travel…one hour Vilcabamba to Loja…nine hours Loja to Guays…45 minutes for my cabbie to find my hotel. But find it he did and I was faced with a full day to explore the surroundings. The main tourist area runs along the riverfront of the Guayas River and is referred to as Malecon 2000. It is a relaxing place with running paths, riverfront restaurants, observation decks and a beautiful city
More garden on the Malecon…
park with tropical flowers, bridges and park benches. At the very north end of the Malecon is a neighborhood known as Las Penas which is known for its brightly painted houses and perch high above the river. With the charming cobblestone streets and interesting architecture this makes for a nice place for a stroll.
Las Penas neighborhood in Guayaquil
I wanted to visit the legendary cemetery with its Mile 5480-like mausoleums (as in New Orleans) but I didn’t quite find the time. I did however decide to head to the Parque de Simon Bolivar…not to see the statue so much but to see the iguanas. Did I say iguanas? Yes I did…I wouldn’t suggest visiting old Simon if you don’t like iguanas because here at the park they run wild. Like this bunch, feasting on some lettuce when I arrived:
My other suggestion, should you decide to visit the Parque de Las Iguanas would be to NOT sit under a tree. You see, iguanas climb trees…and do their business from those high perches. Unfortunately, I watched a group of youths discover this first-hand. Of course, I think it was a little more unfortunate for them than me.
Brief again today but brace yourself for the Galapagos stuff coming next week. Have a great week all and type to you soon!