We left Montanita yesterday on a whim after a few days of literally doing absolutely nothing for the past few days on the beach. The town had so many prospects of being a great party town where we might meet some people, tiki lounges, bars on the beach, best pina coladas I´ve ever had (and pisco sours - new drink i tried with egg white in it), however, the place had too many restaurants and bars and not enough people, leaving it all feeling pretty empty. All of the "hostels" were more like hotels, so no communal hang out places.
Leaving Mantanita, we drove along the coast which is mostly undeveloped with a few random cafe/ restaurant type places along the way that all look the same and a few token boats here and there. Coming into Guayaquil was like entering into a sea of tin roofed shacks, with fences made from anything that was picked off the street. Guayaquil is a dirty, busy, MASSIVE (8 million ppl plus), commercial town, very different from the more ´pretty´ capital city of Quito. I still have a hard time coming into cities because of the amount of garbage everywhere. Garbage on the side of the raod from people hucking it out their car window, garbage in the trees from being picked up by the wind, garbage floating in the discoloured river water and garbage burning (I saw tires and wires being burned yesterday) randomly by whomever on the street. Throwing away water bottles still hurts a little everytime too, particularly since we go through so many down here.
Anyways, understanding that Guayaquil was a commercial town, we went into the downtown core with not the highest expectations. The only really touristy thing to do in this city is check out the newly re-developed area of Malecon 2000 along the river. So we went, walked, saw the dirty big river carry plants down and out into the ocean. Looked at the cafeteria style restaurants, checked out the underground mall, overall not too exciting but was something to do. Coming back to the hostel I walk into my girl dorm to find the only girl I am sharing the room with on the floor, moaning, in the dark. I´ll admit, "Oh great" was one of my initial thoughts, after general concern of someone moaning on the ground, of course. Turns out she had bad food poisoning and was leaving the next morning to get on a plane to go to the Galapagos Isls. Oh great. Luckily, I think she had got most of her barfing and other, etc out earlier so I got to avoid listening to that all night. Unfortunately, I started to feel nauseous msyelf and was sure I had food poisoning. You see, I have to tell you these gruesome details, otherwise you wouldn´t get the full feel of the trip, right? Anyways luckily took some left over medicine of Owen´s from his fun experience with food poisoning in Taganga, Colombia and felt a million times better a bit later.
Last night was hard to sleep, it has not been that hot in a room the entire time on this trip. Guayanquil is extremely hot and muggy, I assume it has something to do with the river and wetlands, which I think could be likened to somewhere like Florida or Mississipi (although, Ive never been to either). So anyways that is why i am up at 7 am writing you this lovely post!
Today Owen and Corey go skate this massive skate park downtown, I might go watch or go check out a museum on the Malecon. Other than that we will just be mentally preparing for our 24 hour (yes 24 HOUR straight) bus ride to Lima. I´m dramatizing a bit, don´t think it will be that bad, just hope its not air cond to death like most of the other long trip buses. Last time I wore 2 flannels, a hoodie, had a fleece jakcet as a blanket, wore jeans and my woolie lumberjack socks, oh, and a toque. Was still a bit cold! Can´t wait for Geoff to bring the sleeping bags for our trip to Machu Picchu (and now as well for the bus rides).
Anyways, wish us luck and will say hello when we are in Lima before we head off to do the big Inca trek.