Tuesday we enjoyed a scenic 3.5 hour OperAzuay van ride down the Andes with Keith and Josh Yancy to Guayaquil. A brief review of the internet, a travel guide, and maps resulted in an easy plan. We checked in to the friendly and bilingual City Plaza Hotel, Boyaca 922 y Rendon ($76 including 12% taxes, 10% service charge), then strolled along the 2 mile length of the Malecon 2000. This river front was beautifully rebuilt with monuments, museums, fountains, gardens, shops, elevated viewing areas and numerous restaurants.
New Andes Highway complete with curbs and cattle!
We enjoyed the 1842 Moorish clock tower and the (semicircle) Hemicilo de la Rotonda commemorating the meeting of two Latin American liberators Simon Bolivar and San Martin.
Time did not allow this compulsive tourist to visit the neoclassic historic Las Pinas neighborhood or Santa Anna Hill with 444 steps and lighthouse. (Please excuse my North American keyboard lacking accent marks).The broad muddy Guayas River had no afternoon traffic except a tugboat, barge and the three-masted Pirate Morgan touring sailboat waiting for an evening tour. The gigantic port must be downstream. Our camera was lonesome in our Cuenca condo. Sarah took a couple of shots.
Beautiful hotel room's view!
Six blocks upstream from City Plaza Hotel we found Seminario (Iguana) Park strewn with all sizes of these so-ugly-they-are-pretty reptiles. After a while even Sue liked them, but who wants to pet scales!We enjoyed a quiet evening meal of pork chops, rice, green beans, salad with a complementary glass of Merlot at the hotel. Atillio & Sara, the friendly managers joined us. They also have a home in Paris and a fisherman’s hut in Galapagos. I was urged to buy a car and tour the southern beaches from Salinas to Puerto Cayo. On Isla de la Plata it’s whale watching season.
Introducing Sarah, "the bag lady!"
Now to the Aeropuerta for the 9:30 pm Miami flight…well, make that midnight. The aircraft was delayed, Sue had left her neck pillow on the van, the hotel shuttle left without us, and Sarah’s single fifty pounder was left in Miami. A dozen calls and four days got it to Cuenca. Sound familiar?Now for Sarah’s orientation. We will enjoy her introduction to Bolivar and Ximena’s childrens ministry, Unsion TV, and the ”unchurch”(named 6:08) Saturday night at Mall del Rio.
Tourist notes:*Previously we stayed at Grande Hotel on Diez de Agosto - well appointed and pet friendly.
*Many have warned us: do not use a Guayaquil street taxi. Get one inside the airport, have your hotel call a taxi, or call one of the radio dispatched cabs (Taxi Fastline,SolService, Wayose).