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Ecuador Farewell

sunny 30 °C

The arid offshore islands of Chile, Peru and Ecuador have been home to countless seabirds for millions of years and each one left behind a little gift for future generations. These little ‘deposits’ accumulated over time until they were the height of a twelve story apartment block. But when the prospectors realized that this ‘guano’ was a nitrogen-rich natural fertilizer in the mid-1800s, the whole lot was dug up, loaded onto old sailing ships and sent off to nourish the fields of the U.S. and Europe from these old city docks in Guayaquil...
Guayaquil’s waterfront Malecon today is pristine,..
The only odours are from the numerous restaurants and cafes that line the beautifully restored quayside, but in the 19th century this port was enveloped in the overpowering stench of ammonia and clouds of guano dust. Guayaquil today is a largely modern city with some beautiful buildings dating from the early part of the last century. This is the magnificent city hall..
…and this is the cathedral…
Guayaquil has a reputation for being unsafe and tourists are warned not to venture from their hotels at night. While this may make sense in some quarters the only thing we found scary were the huge iguanas that roam the cathedral plaza…
For such a small country Ecuador has an incredible diversity: From the highest Andean mountains and volcanoes to the Amazon jungle; from the lush coastal plain to the colonial cities of Cuenca and Quito; and from the modern city of Guayaquil to the timeless Galapagos Islands - Ecuador has something for everyone. It is a land of fantastic scenery, incredible biodiversity and beautiful flowers, both natural and cultivated…
There are signs everywhere in Ecuador exhorting the citizens, (and visitors), to look after the trees and plants; to take care of the environment; to cherish the water and the air. And legions of cleaners and garbage collectors work around the clock to ensure that Ecuador’s cities, toilets and roadsides are, generally, some of the cleanest we’ve ever seen.

As for the food in Ecuador - apart from the fact that almost everything seems to be deep fried, we have no complaints at all. However, we came across very few uniquely Ecuadorian dishes other than fanesca – a delicious fish stew with beans…
…together with quails’ eggs and the somewhat ubiquitous patacones – deep fried slices of plantains.

We are now in Lima, Peru, in the midst of a heatwave, and we are fondly remembering the pleasant temperatures of the Ecuadorian Andes and the refreshing crystal waters of the Galapagos Islands. This is a shoal of cow-nosed golden rays in the shallow harbour of Puerta Ayora, Santa Cruz…
We have much to look forward to in Peru in the next few weeks, (especially the food), but we will certainly never forget the truly amazing sights and the lovely people of Ecuador.

Posted by Hawkson 14:40 Archived in Ecuador

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LOVE the last photo of the cow-nosed rays - it's a piece of artwork!

In a blink of an eye, we will have you home safely.

by Joyce

I love those little golden rays too. But then I have been loving all the beauty and history you have shared. No problem with too much heat here. Sun shining and -24 with the windchill when I went for my walk this morning. Travel on dear friends!

by Trudy

Ah, more blue skies and 30 degrees. Hope some of this comes home with you although must not complain too much--see Ottawa.
Not aware that Peru is noted for food. Look forward to your photos.

by R and B

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