Let’s pick up where we left off on the traveling, shall we? The day we ditched Cali, Colombia, we jumped on a LAN flight to Guayaquil (pronounced why-uh-keel), Ecuador and were there within just a few hours. Luckily, I had made reservations at a hotel which were confirmed before we left and there was a transport dude at the airport, holding a DORIS sign ready to take us. This was all very shocking that it fell into place like this. Not only did we get our flights for $50 less each than we were willing to pay, there was a hotel available late at night and we had transportation ready for us…things don’t usually flow this effortlessly.
So, we were dropped off at Manso Boutique Guesthouse which is right on the Malecon (boardwalk or river bank). It was a little pricier than our budgeted $25 a day but beggars can’t be choosers. Check out Manso’s Tangerine Room.
We were only planning on being in Guayaquil overnight, but when we woke up and saw it in the daylight, we knew we had to stay longer. Since our hotel was on the Malecon, we were able to simply cross the street to the Malecon 2000 which is a park like promenade. This place is a good 15 to 16 blocks long! It’s HUGE! I just don’t understand how they take care of it financially with all of the plants, having to clean it and staffing it with police every 100 meters or so. It’s gated all along the Malecon side so there are entrances only so often. I’ve heard the police will refuse you entry if they don’t like the look of you.
Please enjoy a photo journey through the park (especially my annoying sisters that won’t stop harping on me about posting more photos!):
The park runs along the Guayas River
Stop and surf the web on the computers in this train car
Toys and jungle gyms for the kids
Entrance to botanical gardens
Cute little restaurant tucked in there
Every good park has a dinosaur
Every park should also have an IMAX and mini aquarium
Don’t forget McDonald’s
And giant pirate boats
More restaurants…this thing goes on an on!
Finally the north side ends at a place called Las Penas which is all these little houses sandwiched together with stairs to access them all. Many of the houses have been converted, at least on the first floor, into businesses such as restaurants, art galleries, discotecs and stores. Just keep climbing the 444 steps and you’ll reach the top.
There’s a small church on the top.
Even higher is a lighthouse that has an awesome view of Guayaquil below.
The entire day of walking around we kept saying, “This is our bizarro world!”. It felt just like Cincinnati. Guayaquil’s streets felt like the streets of downtown Cincinnati. The Malecon 2000 felt like Sawyer Point, although ten times more awesome. The top of Las Penas felt like Mt. Adams. The overcast sky and dirty Guayas River felt like a typical sky in Cincinnati with it’s filthy Ohio River. We felt at home for a day. :)