This is the night view from the patio that overlooked the street that was adjacent to Malecon 2000, the Guayaquil River Walk Guayaquil is a city of over 4 million people. Interestingly, I had never heard of the city prior to considering visiting Ecuador. It’s funny how we think that we would have heard of cities of several million people in size, but the odd thing is that there are dozens of them we’ve never heard of. At least I’m aware there are dozens I’ve never heard of. I’m not say I think I should know the major cities if the earth. I probably should , but there is so much more information that tends to be relevant in my life. But when I’m on the road I become a geographer. You have to. At that point you need to know what’s going on.
When I first heard of Melecon 2000, the river walk in Guayaquil, Ecuador I wasn’t really impressed. It’s not a new idea and I’d seen a few of them in my day. But Malecon 2000 surprised me. It was unique. Just as they all are, of course. What I liked about it was that it was a limited access park, that is there were only certain points where you can enter and there are guards at all the entry points. It also had a parking garage built underneath the elevated river walk. While this might not seem significant, it means that the river walk is generating substantial revenue every day, as it’s located in the heart of the city’s business district. I also liked its’ size. It was big. Very big. As was the river. But the thing I liked most about it was the care that went into it. It was one of the most nicely landscaped environments I have been that was free and open to the public.
I’m out doing a morning walk, seeing a little bit of the city and what do I see? I see a guy with a scrubber and he’s scrubbing the sidewalks at Malecon 2000 at daybreak. I’ve got to say that it was the first time I’ve ever seen a guy with a scrubber doing the sidewalks. South Americans like their parks and they keep them well maintained.
The light house in Guayaquil is on a hill at the end of Malecon 2000. It’s not inside the park. It’s in a residential area that covers the hill. The hill is very noticeable. It has a lighthouse and it has hundreds of houses painted in a variety of bright pastel shades. I didn’t get to the light house. I should have. I got close. I was told that the bight pastel neighborhood was best approached with a taxi and a local guide who was familiar with the area. Okay.
Malecon 2000 is a park setting and it seems that some of the locals have used some of the plants as places to leave a trace of themselves. It was the first time I had seen graffiti-laced cacti in such abundance.
It’s me at Malecon 2000.
I had finished my morning walk and I was headed back to the hostel, the only one on the journey that did not have a free breakfast, and I was looking for something to eat. I spied a corner stand where I started talking to one of the locals who was getting some food. He recommended the dish that you see here. It was a deep-fried roll with potato, meat and a hard boiled egg inside. It was pretty tasty and only cost $1 but the best part of it was the sauce that the lady put on the side. The sauce topped it off perfectly. I’m sometimes saddened by the fact that I find treats like these – wonderfully tasty eats at tremendous prices – and I may never get to have them again. I went back the next day, but I was too early. She hadn’t open up shop and I had to leave Guayaquil that day.
I was working on my blog when another American staying at the hostel came up and we started to chat. I asked her to take my picture and she did. I liked that balcony. It had a great view. Behind me is Malecon 2000 and the Guay River. We are only a few miles from the Pacific. Guayaquil is a major port. I spent a lot of hours on that balcony. It was pretty interesting. There were always people going by.
I went to one park in Guayaquil that was full of lizards, squirrels, turtles and pigeons. You had to watch where you walked. You might step on a lizard or a turtle. There were dozens of them in the park in various sizes. There were also hundreds of pigeons. They, however, didn’t seem to feel that walking on a lizard was socially inappropriate. They walked on them all the time. And they walked on the turtles, too. It was all kind of cute to watch the animals interact and to watch the animals in their interactions with the people, especially the children.
I’m telling you, there were a lot of lizards in the park.