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Guyaquil Ecuador, Trip Report 5

TowerBilly Holiday croons over the breakfast room PA system, sounding only slightly like David Sedaris’ imitation of her. This must have been an earlier recording, without quite so much of the heroin warble. OMG! she’s singing the first Sweet Adeline song I learned—For All We Know.

I’ve really lucked out in Guyaquil. The Manso Boutique Guest House has really been a lovely sanctuary in a city that everyone warned me about as unpleasant-to-dangerous. I took a few walking excursions, mostly along the Malecon, the waterfront that has been beautifully redone in several installments. Lots of civic statues (this is a country where you have to have a bronze of Simon Bolivar on each corner.) I decided that if they care to erect a statue to me I’d prefer under a tree, like one of the fellows I saw. The heat and humidity is super high. There was also a guy fortunate enough to have his bronze head placed in a reflecting pool. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

DSCF7255Sunday lots of families are walking and showing children interesting things (that was yesterday, Palm Sunday.) Other folks airing out their disabled seniors. The guest house is fortunate for location as well as a holistic and healthy thing going on. (I just finished lunch which was lovely fresh fish, not fried, etc. ) And lots of cozy places to sit and hang (there’s not a lot I really want to see here, beyond the two long walks.) And there was even passable red wine for purchase by the glass last night. Wine is a rarity here.

And then I also got to color my hair here after it was beaten and battered by life on my head generally and then a week of sun and salt. I know this may be way too much info for some (and probably a horrifying account for those of the male persuasion) but hair coloring has a history of being a near obsession with me on these long international forays. (It was the first item I really thought through about my 4 months in Asia. In fact it was probably the only thing I thought quite through.) This incident will be my only on this trip.

I found something around the corner—at SaniSani. No Clairol goods, surprisingly. The only familiar label was L’Oreal. But since my last adventure with the L’Oreal line left me with no skin able to stick under my eyes (a rather reptilian look I took to Fiji) I figured anything else is better. And even though OUR hair products come with directions in at least two other languages, the directions in this box took up just as much space with only Spanish. Anyway, my super duper curls (humidity hello) are shiny and reddish brown again. (Color was a challenge to pick, but I figured, all other things being equal, pick the box called chocolate. It’s good for everything.)

Then I took a wander and ran across a merchant at the Aritisanal Market who had a connection to someone at Signature Imports in Portland, so now I’m carrying a postcard bound for Portland and I got a good deal on earrings. Oh Brave New World.

Guyaquil brass buddyIn a little over an hour I’ll leave for the airport. It’s really close to town but no telling what Guyaquil’s rush hour situation is, traffic wise. Lots of sitting around I expect. Security and all has been very efficient in airports so far, even the ones that get lousy reviews for it.

I’ll leave with fond thoughts for Ecuador. The people are lovely, there’s a lot of variety of things to do here. They create nice civic spaces and maintain them, in towns big and small. They have clean public rest rooms everywhere—much more available than in the US. Their food is good, if not exactly fascinating. In fact, it’s pretty starchy. And there is something very easy about a country where US bills pop out of the ATM. Onward to ancient civilization and hopefully better coffee.