Category Archives: Ecuador

El Henry Morgan and Plaza Lago

In Guayaquil when we were staying with Brittany’s family we were also staying with her grandfather. He’s an engineer and does work on ship engines. He built one that the city uses for tourism. It was adorable how proud he is of his ship and took us for a ride on it. 20140725-155359-57239708.jpg

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The boat just went up and down the harbor. At one point there was some kind of strange pirate show we didn’t understand.

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About two months ago he had to do some work and repair the engine. Everyone knew him and he was able to take us down below.

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There was a fake wheel for all the tourists. But since we’re so special he also got us to be allowed to use the real one and drive the actual boat.

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We also went and checked out the historic area that day where the ship was.

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Not really sure what like any of this actually is.

Guayaquil has been so nice. It’s been more chill hanging out with her family since we’d got there. Another night we went to an Italian style place called Plaza Lago. It was very sweet and upscale.

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Guayaquil was fun and I couldn’t be more thankful for her wonderful family for having us and showing us around.

Las Peñas

I spent a total of around 4 days in Guayaquil with Brittany’s family between the trips. I’m going to do two separate posts on that and this one is dedicated to Las Peñas. On the hill in Guayaquil the people took over the hillside for colorful favela like homes. The city took it back and created a 444 step walk. We did it the one day. 20140723-190820-68900364.jpg

At the top there was a massive lighthouse, great view, and a pirate restaurant.

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On one of my first nights in Guayaquil we went to Las Peñsas for drinks. I was waiting for Brittany’s flight for a day or two. Long story short we messed up dates and I was alone in Ecuador with her fam… Everything turned out okay. She has a young aunt who took me out. Only the first 80 steps were open and they held all the bars. We went to this bar around the corner from it that was PACKED.

It was the most hipster bar I’ve ever been to. Yes those are cats on the walls.

20140724-042543-15943309.jpg the pictures suck but I did my best.

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Whale spotting!

Super behind on the blogs, I’ll do my best to catch up. SO we had the morning in Montañita and just hung out in the hotel and beach on Sunday.

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Britt’s grandfather picked us up and we stopped to go whale watching on the way home. I call this whale spotting because we actually spotted one!!!! Last time I went it was a huge bust. We went to Ayangue, a port that’s famous for it’s whale spotting. Apparently it’s the time of year all the whales come in to have their babies in the area. Her grandfather had old friends there so we just got this tiny boat with 3 locals, two of which were kids, and went out.

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We found two average sized whales and followed them around for awhile. They didn’t do anything super, super cool so I didn’t get any great pictures, but I did get a blow, a fin, and a tail. This is what I got:

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I started to feel a little woozy after the trip though. We stopped to get lunch in Salinas about another half hour along the trek back. It was a cute town but I didn’t get any pictures because luckily I spent the entire time in the bathroom.

I have really perfected the ultimate diet this month: food poisoning. Quick way to drop a pound or two in no time and seriously no effort required.

Monteñita!

After we got back from Quito on Friday we were supposed to go to Monteñita, but we ended up having a delay and waiting until Saturday morning to head out. Monteñita is a surf beach city, about a 2 hour drive from Guayaquil. 20140721-172524-62724861.jpg

It wasn’t a great day and the sun was barely out, but we walked along the beach a bit to get the feel.

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There’s a church about a mile away. It’s called something in Spanish about Mary crying blood from a statue there……. Anyway it was pretty and had an awesome view.

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Brittany’s family left and we were on our own. We got a room at Tiki Limbo, a hostel literally in the middle of everything. We walked back down to the beach and witnessed 4 drownings, 2 deaths. The waves at Montañita are not meant for swimming, especially in certain parts. They’re only meant for surfing and incredibly strong swimmers. We were along the boardwalk and saw a mass group of people huddled around something. The second time it happened we walked down to see what was going on… we didn’t fully figure out until we got to see one of the bodies ourselves. That image will never leave me, rest in peace to those who passed. It was the first time I’ve ever seen a dead body not at a funeral.

After emotionally recovering from the day we ran into a few Argentinians we’d met earlier on the beach. They were really fun and spoke great English.

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At one point we stopped at a club called “Alcatraz”.

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It was HILARIOUS. There was barbed wire, a watch tower. The works.

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I also got a shot in the day light because I found it so brilliant.

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It was actually really cool because multiple times during the night I talked to people who only spoke Spanish or Portuguese (big vacations spot for Brazilians and Argentinians). I could communicate, have real conversations, even make jokes. Granted I’m still speaking pretty elementary… It’s really neat.

Also when we got back that night and tried to charge our phones… We were in for a little surprise.

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I realize this is a stoner beach but seriously… How high did the builders get? (Pun intended)

Day 2 in Quito

This was actually 2 days ago, Friday the 19th. We went across the street from our hotel and got omelets, fruit salad, and juice all for $2.50 each. It was good too! Our driver took us to the teleferiqo, it’s like a ski lift that takes you up a huge mountain to the top of Quito. 20140720-124602-45962321.jpg

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We ran into some other travelers from Austria and ended up going on the hike all the way to the inactive volcano a couple miles away with them, Rucu Pichincha.

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After we came back down we found out that we very cheaply could’ve just ridden horses up. With the small time left to spare we rode them around for a little just for the fun of it.

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We got one last surprise when we dropped the horses off: LLAMAS!!

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It was a great, spontaneous day. And the ride back to Guayaquil that evening had a much smoother landing.

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Flying into Quito!

My friend from home, Brittany, flew into Ecuador to meet me. We had somehow managed to mess up our tickets and I got there a day earlier and stayed with her family in Guayaquil. We had a pretty early flight from Guayaquil to Quito. The flight SHOULD only be 45 minutes but landing in Quito isn’t easy. Between the Andes and the ocean the winds make landing impossible. 5 people were running to the bathrooms puking and at one point the plane literally dropped a few feet. Everyone literally flew out of their seats. I’ve never really needed the seat belt before. It took an extra 45 minutes just to finally land. We had an escort who picked us up and first took us to the center of the earth.

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This is the fake one that everyone used to believe was the equator. We refused to pay to get in and really see it.

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After that we went up to this statue… I asked the name and couldn’t get a real response.

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The view was INCREDIBLE. You could see all of Quito.

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After that we checked into our hotel and got lunch on our own. We had no idea what was going on but paid $2.50 to get what’s considered the normal lunch? The rice and potatoes were good but we got this rubbery fish like meat that I just couldn’t get down. It also came with a soup and juice. Can’t complain for $2.50.

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Our hotel room was really nice, a loft type 2 story room. We took a nice long nap before heading out. We went to Plaza Fosh. It was super touristy but also really fun. We ended up meeting an Israeli and 2 Australians. They were fun and then we ended up running into a Columbia, an Argentinian, and a Peruvian. During week days the bars are supposed to close so we went to a secret salsa club about 2 blocks away off the main strip. It. Was. Awesome. I’ve never salsa’d before but everyone there knew what they were doing, spinning us around.

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No one spoke much English there so Britt and I were on our own with our Spanish. We didn’t do too bad either if I do say so myself.