Guayaquil Walkabout Day 2
Fri 15 Apr 2016 00:10
A 15 minute taxi ride took us to the Historic Gardens, established by a bank to include pre-existing mangrove swamps. Fabriolo showed us native birds, spectacled caiman, yep that's what slithered into the river as we paddled over it in our inflated canoe in the Las Perlas islands.
A sloth obligingly woke up and moved so we could get a photo and we were among the first to see a new born capuchin monkey clinging to its mum.
Fabriolo left us for a few minutes so we could enjoy a bollo, (the prescriptive text on this tablet changed that word to bollocking - naughty!) peanut, plantain and tuna, deliciously spiced and served in a banana leaf with boiled rice to accompany it. Then he showed us typical 19th century wooden houses, very similar to colonial ante bellum homes to be found on plantations, or haciendas as farms are called here.
One of the houses, that had belonged to a doctor and his family of 11 children, was painstakingly moved here from its original site facing the river front at the bottom of our hotel street to make for the tallest high rise in the city which stands on exactly the same footprint. It was a big, beautiful home and is now used for functions especially weddings.
Back on Santa Ana hill we whizzed through the Pilsner museum, the music museum and we peeped into the football museum, all free and conveniently located in the same, brand new building in the old port area.
Rob's clip on sun glasses had broken in transit and a very capable young lady in an opticians office in the middle of a busy artesian market glued a tiny strip of thin wire on to link the lenses. When Rob mouthed a grateful kiss she blushed, bless her.
We ate supper in an Ecuadorian restaurant, Cocolo. I had cerviche for the first time. (I've really got to watch this proscriptive text, that came out as cervicl! Ugh!) A warm clear soup of raw red onion and tomato with cooked shrimp and lots of lime juice, it was delicious, but Rob's thin steak in a cream sauce could have come from anywhere and looked unappetising.
Now we are relaxing in our hotel room in cooler Quito, 9121 feet up in the Andes, the second highest capital in the world. The highest is La Paz in Bolivia and the 3rd highest is Mexico City.
From our enormous windows we look towards a foreground of skyscrapers with the mountains rising up behind, and tomorrow we're off to the Amazon!