Monday, Feb 15, 2016

This is our sightseeing day in Guayaquil. I don’t know what the temperature is, but the humidity is horrible. We are walking on the Malecon that runs along the very wide, brown river that flows through this city. There is not a good breeze, in fact, often there is no breeze at all. Sweat is covering us all.

At the end of the Malecon is the Las Penas neighborhood, which is a myriad of eclectic homes/bars/restaurants all squeezed tightly together that fill the entire side of the hill that the lighthouse sits upon.

Guayaquil, Las Penas Barrio

As we walk up the 400+ steps, we come across a film crew doing some kind of shoot involving someone on a wake board riding down a section of the steps. We stop a moment to observe but it is so hot and there is absolutely no breeze, so we keep moving. We just want to get to the lighthouse so we can feel the breeze and cool off. There is also a great view of the entire city up there, so it’s worth the climb.

The lighthouse did not disappoint…a great breeze and an awesome view. I think we stayed there for 30 minutes just trying to cool off. On the way back down to the Malecon, we found a restaurant with AC and had a beer and some nachos…Ecuadorian style.

We were planning on going to the Megamaxi grocery store, which is a kin to a Super Target, from there. I flagged a taxi and we all piled in. I told him Megamaxi and he didn’t know what I was talking about.

Since I still haven’t figured out how to get my phone to run on data here, I can only use the internet when I have wifi access. In that cab I had none. The driver was questioning me, I think, as to what Megamaxi I wanted to go to. I thought there was only one, and everything else was a Supermaxi. I had no tools to work with. After a few more attempts of neither one of us getting anywhere, I asked him to take us back to our hotel.

We regrouped at the hotel, and figured out exactly where we wanted to be going, then got a taxi to get us there. This Megamaxi supermarket was inside a huge mall that rivals anything we have in the States. The prices were outrageous and I have no idea how an Ecuadorian, where the minimum wage is $362 dollars per month, could afford any thing in it.

I’m going to do a blog post just on the prices of things here, but as a teaser…plain ol’ 501 Levis were $115 a pair. One more just for kicks…a normal curling iron was $75. Anyway, we were looking for a meat thermometer, and went to several stores…grocery, home furnishings, hardware, pharmacy…and nye a one to be had.

Forget about the high cost of any brand named item here; it is incredibly odd to live in a place where you cannot find an item you want. I mean this is America! Oh that’s right…this is South America!