Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ecuador day 1

After about 14 hours of travel, Dylan and I finally arrived in Guayaquil Ecuador. While our flights were relatively uneventful, I was quite disappointed in the fact that American Airlines does not provide a vegetarian option for meals. We could not reserve one in advance and then the two options on the flight were chicken or turkey. Typically, airlines will have one meat and one pasta option. Luckily, we planned ahead knowing that we could not reserve special meals and had a surprisingly good meal at the Miami airport during our layover. 

On arrival to Guayaquil, getting through customs and immigration was a breeze. The airport was quite nice and modern with marble floors throughout. I loved that there were tons of people waiting to greet arriving family. We don't see that so much in the US. 

Dylan and I grabbed a taxi to our hotel, Hotel Palace Guayaquil, for $5. As in most countries it seems that there are no road rules and the cars are just flying by and swerving all over the road. It was quite a ride. In a quick 10 minutes we were at our hotel. 

The hotel is one of the oldest in Guayaquil, but it has been nicely updated and is a very comfortable place to stay. After we checked in and got a bit settled, we took a short walk to the Malecon 2000 waterfront boardwalk. It has shopping malls, food, gardens, ponds, and an IMAX theater. We walked around a bit and then grabbed dinner at a small hole in the wall eatery on the boardwalk. It ended up being quite good. We shared a plate of fried shrimp with rice and beans and a few pieces of fried plantains. We also each had a beer, Brahma, all for about $7.

After that, we went to a little mini mart type store and picked up a 6 pack of beer. Apparently, mini marts turn into casual bars after dark and there was a gathering of some men just relaxing with their drinks. It was an interesting concept.