Guayaquil, a city of 4m and the largest in Ecuador, sits on the Rio Guayas, with a bridge connecting a nearby island and continuing to the opposite side of the river where you’ll find the town of Duran (insert “Rio”, “Duran Duran” and “dancing on the sand” jokes here). We stayed on the riverfront to the end of a pretty cool river walk with a couple hills immediately behind us.
Not sure if it was the spike in heat & humidity or just being a tad weary in the legs after hiking up, Up, UP and around Quito or the sweet seduction of air conditioning following ventures into the heat and humidity of the nearby town, but we didn’t do nearly as much.
Truth be told, if you look at things to do or see in Guayaquil and then consult a map, you’ll realize they are all pretty much lined up nicely. From our place in Torre Bellini (complete with it’s own view of Creepy Clown Statue, Pennywise, which was moved or rotated daily), following the river we passed through the river walk with a good number of (surprisingly expensive when compared to The Big Q) restaurants, which as you followed along gave way the colorful Barrio Las Penas. Take a 90 degree turn away from the river and up you go along the steps of Cerro Santa Ana to see the Lighthouse on top.
Descend back down with a slight right turn and you’ll be back along the river on the Malecon 2000, a boardwalk with more restaurants as well as other notable things to see… La Perla (the Ferris Wheel), the Hemiciclo de Rotunda, a monument which commemorates the meeting of Simón Bolivar and Jose de San Martin who lead the fight against Spanish rule throughout the countries of South America. Further along head a couple blocks in and big church and Iguana Park!
You get the idea. And pictures of reptiles.
We did book ourselves a trip to Hacienda La Danesa, a farm/lodge some hour away from Guayaquil. The trip itself was enjoyable, seeing both some Ecuadorian small towns as well as non-mountain countryside. And lots of Viejos. And men in drag. At least there was on December 31, when we went. Pre-NYE festivities.
Got to do a bike tour of some of the grounds on big, FAT tire bikes, got a lesson in Chocolate, including trying our hand at grinding some ourselves, an exercised which would come in handy later in our upcoming trip to Salento, Colombia, home of another highly addictive and enjoyable C…..E vice. Coffee. After the chocolate lessons as well as learning a bit about some of the plants on the grounds followed by a thoroughly enjoyable lunch and a little time just relaxing in the bucolic and beautiful shaded lounge area. And milked a cow.
Not a lot to write about, in retrospect we could have compressed our trip to Guayaquil into maybe 3 days and seen even more of Ecuador. Instead our trip ended up lasting even LONGER as our flight to Cali was delayed, oh, about six hours or so and more happy foibles. But that’s there, not here, and thus in my next upcoming entry.
Beer Notes –
Not much to report. Tried a couple at a place in the trendy bar/restaurant section near our building (good mix of locals – or at least Ecuadorians – and tourists) … and it was the “Rule of Three” again, Rubio, Rojo or Negro. Suffice it say, Quito spoiled us.