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Iguanas roaming in Guayaquil

Written on: Wednesday August 27th, 2008

A journal entry from: Trails in 2008

Everyone told us not to stay in this town, but we were pleasantly surprised with it. Sure, its a big town with no real nice centre to admire but it had a few things going for it - the square in the middle of town is packed with Iguanas just roaming around, bizarre!  Just as we realised there were more crowded in on huge tree branches high above us, one fell down about 10 metres with an almighty thud. He simply composed himself for a few minutes and carried on his way. 

A lot of money has been poured in to make a nice public space along their dirty brown river to try and coax tourists away from Quito, but they have a long way to go.  We were trying to find a camera part to repair Al´s lens which got trampled on by a horse (see Cotopaxi blog!) which took us to all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies in the city, but a fruitless mission.  The next morning we got up early and were all set to leave on the daily bus to Peru but 4 English tourists nabbed the last seats, we felt cheated!  It was hard get over the disappointment of a day ´wasted´ but a big feast of a lunch, a few beers, people watching in the main plaza and a visit to the cinema was a good relaxing day.   Leaving Ecuador on the bus the next day, we passed through "Banana Country" – there were plantations from the roadside to as far as the eye could see for over an hour.  Much employment for people tending to the bananas and sticking on those fiddly stickers.

The month has flown by in Ecuador.  The scenery has been fantastic, highlights have been the friendly indigenous people and great walks in Otavalo, feeling at home in Quito,  our 3 days of whale watching on the coast, and seeing most of the animals that we were too poor to visit in the Galapagos Islands.
The buses in Ecuador have seen better days, but we haven´t experienced the same crazy driving as in Colombia (or maybe we´re just used to it now?).  People are more used to tourists here, and more people speak English which has made our life a little easier.  We are used to seeing and smelling men peeing everywhere, saving themselves 10 or 25 cents to go to a loo.  The most popular sights we will remember are all the mothers (who look very young) carrying babies and toddlers on their backs in bright coloured triangles of fabric, and the Ecuadorian teeth - they edge one or two with gold, we even saw an incisor with a gold star in the middle - looks very exotic but apparently this gets them into all kinds of dental trouble.