Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 2, Sightseeing in Guayaquil

August 7, 2013

This day taught me a valuable Ecuadorian, and possibly life long lesson.  Don't always bank on there being toilet paper in the stall.  The only problem with this lesson is remembering to remove said kleenex from one's pocket if one doesn't use it, before throwing one's clothes into the wash.

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast at our hotel, Hotel De Alborada.  This was our first fresh juice experience and the most earthly love from our trip.  F-R-E-S-H juice!  The restaurant was on the top floor of the hotel.

The breakfast area was also open concept (like open-to-the-outside open concept). 
The breakfast area also gave us our first daylight look at our surroundings in Guayaquil.

Here's the view of the little restaurant from the entrance.
This breakfast fueled us up for a day of sightseeing in Guayquil.  We had been in GYE (airport code for Guayaquil and hereon in, how I will abbreviate Guayaquil instead of writing out Guayaquil every time) ten years ago, but were still keen to see the Malecon 2000 area and the Santa Ana Staircase and other downtown sights. 

Malecon 2000 (The waterfront in Guayaquil)  Looking up to the Cerro Santa Ana
The first step is the hardest, so they say...

Step 200.... Brent blew past it.

300... starting to weaken...

Whoo... 400.  Breathing a little harder.  Glad we're at sea level.

We made it!  (At this point some locals wanted us in their pictures, the zany tourists...)

There are little stores along the way, so we bought $0.25 fudgesicles and $0.50 bottles of water.  We wandered around the top where there is a little chapel and a lighthouse.  And took some photos of the city around us.

As we wandered back down the stairs, I looked into an alley and saw this and had to snap a photo:

If your Spanish is rusty, it says "God is love".

After the stairs we wandered down the Malecón (google helpfully translates this as pier or boarwalk), snapping photos as we went.

We decided to find somewhere for lunch and wandered through the underground mall of the Malecón and found a little place called "Coffee & Lunch" and we each ordered the "El Ejectuvo" which was a bowl of chicken soup, and avocado, lettuce, tomato salad, a piece of chicken and rice.  With lovely fresh squeezed juice.  All for a mere $2.50!

El Ejectuvo!
More sightseeing followed lunch.  We wandered back down the boarwalk and then headed up el 10 de octubre (The name of a major street).  We really wanted to see the iguanas that congregate in a park on that street.  And see them we did!

We continued on to see the majestic sights as well.  And some cool vegetation and a crazy lady in a ball on the water.

 We decided to see "Wolverine Inmortal" at the Malecon Imax.  Mostly this was motivated by the need to enjoy the reprieve of  a highly air-conditioned environment for 2 hours!  The movie was in Spanish, but we thought... "It's an action movie, we'll be able to keep up..."  ha ha!  There's a lot more dialogue and plot subtleties than we could have guessed.  It was still fun.  And blessedly cool!

After the show was done, we decided to walk back and get something to eat (I was hitting my tired wall, and we didn't find anything quickly but we survived).  We decided on Menestras del Negro.  Sort of Ecuadorian "fast food".  Rice & lentils (loads of them), fried ripe plantains (maduros), quarter chicken and a drink for $4.25. 

We took a cab back to our hotel and crashed hard!  Day  2 done!