Knowing that I’ll be flying out of the capital Quito, I chose to arrive in Guayaquil to spend some time exploring the largest city in Ecuador. Naturally, my choice of transportation for the day is my two feet with no map and a camera in hand.
I was totally satisfied staying out of the heart of the city in order to catch a glimpse of the smaller venders and local markets. Right away I spot a health food store, well more like a vitamin stall, but either way it’s nice to see an effort towards better nutrition anywhere.
Next door to the “healthy” stall we have soda, candy, gum and cigarettes. You can actually purchase a single smoke or the whole pack, they even have a lighter for your convienence. I’m not a smoker, but this one stood out to me!
This woman was focused and straight faced as I caught myself staring into her little work box. As soon as we made eye contact, I asked with my best attempt in Spanish “Is a photo ok?”. She responded with a huge smile!
I choose to limit my wheat and corn intake for general health, so most bread is off my “must try” list. With that said, you can imagine my excitement when I saw a sign for “Pan de Yuca”. This tasty treat is about the size of an average dinner roll, has minimal ingredients, no preservatives and is primarily made from the root of cassava (a cholesterol lowering, inflammation reducing vegetable that’s rich in potassium). The best part was the fluffy texture and the hollow inside that will make a perfect pocket for my next sandwich!
With the sound of it, I thought for sure that I was approaching a daytime dance club blasting local hip hop music. No, that’s just a store in which sells electronics. “Woh, look mom!” says the little boy. Mother replies, “Yes sweetie, she is wearing a swimsuit, you just can’t see it”.
Next door to the risky music videos? A dancing cow promoting ice cream and a clown passing out balloons… Go figure.
In between the small shops there were several chain restaurants like McDonalds, Burger King, and KFC. I was a little discouraged to see those places packed, however this is a large city which means convenience tops the priority list.
I spot out a grocery store so I swing in for the usual wander, (this can drive my travel partners crazy!) as I just love to browse and check out the goods that I’ve never seen before. As soon as I walk in, I almost tripped over the… Salon chair? Nice! Makes sense to me to get your hair colored while running other errands.
My new find for the day is vegetarian ceviche in a to-go container including broad beans, corn nuts and plantain chips for the topping.
I pass a cute little square with a neat fountain and a little girl sleeping in a box? I’ve definitely been that tired before!
I reach the end of the street which brings me to the El Malecón boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River. The first three pictures were taken from the balcony of my hostel earlier in the day. To see the Manso Guesthouse in detail take my photo tour in the accommodations category.
These guys made my day. Not only were they talented and entertaining, they were extremely friendly and patient with my Spanish. (Hopefully they understood the paper I wrote on that directed them to my blog).
My turn for a little gymnastics!
As the sun started to lower, I found stairs leading to lookout points providing a perfect view for these pictures.
Again with the distant sound if music, I follow my ears towards a few well lit buildings up the way. This time it’s an indoor mall with independent singers giving it their best.
I stopped on the way back and put my camera on a “special effect” to try and capture the loud energy that circled my evening stroll. This was the winner!
Tomorrow morning brings a 6 hour bus trip to the coast of Manabi, Buenos Noches!