Beds are Burning suddenly blares from the speaker system as our taxi clatters down a cobblestone throughway en route to Lima airport. Bizarre coincidence we think! The driver turns it up as we cruise along the ocean drive.
Hey next track is more Aussie music. Land Down Under, The Voice… Turns out the driver is streaming it all just for us. How cool is that? Loving grooving for an hour in Lima traffic to, mostly, Oz rock. We get every other genre you can think of. Graeme Connors is in there to novelty songs and deep country. Plus, the driver thinks the anthem is pretty, and plays it a second time till we beg for more rock! Feels so good after wall to wall US news, the only TV option!
Guayaquil international airport feels so country after the big cities we have hopped through on our way north. Ours is the only flight in so all the formalities and the baggage collection are a total breeze.
It is a very big city but a bit like landing in the Territory straight out of Sydney. Except a lot more traffic. The hotel doesn’t disappoint either with a room 3 times the size of the last couple with a big picture window out to the action on the impressive Malecon.
The Malecon is the Latin American version of a waterfront promenade. In many places it is the ocean, here it is the Guayas River frontage. Several kilometres of promenade, tropical gardens, shops. It comes alive in the cool of the evening as families take the air and enjoy entertainment.
We head to Santa Ana hill and the lighthouse up the top. Only 444 steps to get up there and it is as Hot as. The steps are helpfully numbered to encourage or disappoint depending on fitness. Guards are posted all along the way either protecting us from the locals or them from us.
Bomberos. Here are the firefighters again. Just love that word. So we visit the massive museum.
Never cease to be entertained walking through the markets. So many ways to make a living. A cold glass of soft drink is an option from vendors wandering around with plastic cups and large bottles of various flavours. Almost anything seems to be available for $1 from sunglasses to belts. I buy a very nice cap for $4.
A small park in downtown Guayaquil is literally crawling with large green iguanas. Right up the trees or just lounging on the lawn, a tiny taste of exotica to come.
Friday night at our hotel turned out to be a tango party. Another delicious meal and locals start to roll in. We seem to be the only foreigners in the room. Nice family feel as everyone greets friends warmly and the busy wait staff bustle around. More and more chairs appear in the small room but the dancers weave skilfully with eyes blissfully closed, being part of the moment of the Tango.
On to the Galapagos.