Where are we?

Salinas to Guayaquil and roaming Iguanas!

We got away from Pto Lopez around 11am and then travelled south along the coast.  There are beautiful beaches along here, but not much for places to stay.  We go thru a few small towns and at one I see empanadas! So I get Dwayne to pull over while I went and got a couple for us - 60 cents each. They also had what is called bolones which are the size of really big meatballs and a mixture of plantain, meat and must be some flour to stick it all together to cook. It seems to be baked. I've seen people walk around eating out of a small yellow bag, now I know what it is :)  We had a similar one back in Otavalo, which was smaller and had chorizo in it. Came with the breakfast meal. But this bolones was huge and had a mixture of plantain, raisins and chorizo- quite tasty, but also very filling! One was enough for both of us.

Goodbye Pto Lopez 

Tankers waiting near Salinas
We get to Salinas thinking we can spend the night here on the beach before going into Guayaquil and go to a Nature reserve where there are sea lions. But we couldn't get to the park because all roads went thru the military school/camp.  I asked one military guy at the gate about getting to the park but he didn't know anything. Asked another and they just shook their heads. So guess we won't be seeing any sea lions today!

Salinas on the far right
As we drive along the deserted beach - being a Thursday it makes sense that there are only a few people out there. But no fishing boats at this end, they were all a lot further north. Along this beach there are lots of 6 -8 storey apartments/condos.  We had no desire to sit on the beach so went to a nearby store for a few things (remember we have very little storage space so that's why we shop probably every other day :) and then head towards Guayaquil. We'll find a gas station to park at for tonight instead of getting into the city during rush hour!

About 40kms from Guayaquil we find a free place to park at Parque Lago which is located on the edge of a large reservoir.  There are picnic tables here and some have canopies over them. Nice place for the locals to spend a day, but you are not allowed to go into the lake! Guess because it's a reservoir?? We find a nice spot to park at, bring out our chairs and sit and enjoy the view with a couple of beers :)  Nice that there are no sandflies to bite me tonight!

Embalse de Represa Chongon (reservoir)

Parking on the left
In the morning we head into Guayaquil and find our parking spot for the next 2 nights in a secured parking area for $10/night. This is great because we even have power!! YAAAAAA! A/C tonight 😂😂 and free wifi!!!

Once we set up we start walking to look for a bus going downtown. Its about a 6km walk from here and it's to HOT to walk that far!

We get to the main road and I've been watching buses both ways while Dwayne goes and gets some change. Bus fare is 30 cents each.  Once he comes back I pick a bus I think will work - it's going in the right direction. So we pay and go to the back of the bus because no seats available.  But after a few blocks the bus makes a U-turn and now heading away from downtown!  Oh well, we'll see where it goes, maybe it will still go downtown??? Well after being on it for half an hour we get to the end of the line, thinking we could just stay on this bus and get back where we started didnt pan out!  I asked the driver as he is getting out when he will be returning and he points across the way and says the bus will be there. Same number. OK so we walk over there and after a few minutes the bus comes. We pay another 30 cents each and this time we have a seat since we are the first on :)

Our own Hop on Hop off bus for 30 cents each 😂

This driver likes his monkeys!

As I track the route on maps.me I see we are just going back where we started, its not going downtown.  I remember we passed a Pizza Hut when we were on the other bus so once we get close we get off and have lunch.  While waiting for our pizza I find there is an app Moovit that I can download, and maybe it will give me the buses here in Guayaquil. Once downloaded I enter where we want to go and it gives me bus numbers that we can catch right across the street! This is great!  So once we finished our personal Supreme Pan Pizzas ($14US ya a little expensive but a treat :) we head across the street and wait for the bus.

The bus gets us downtown and about 3 blocks away from Parque Seminario where ALOT of iguanas roam freely around the park along with the pigeons! LOL!!! There is also a pond with fish and small turtles. Quite a nice little park.  When we were feeding the Iguanas the lettuce we bought from a vendor a lady approaches us and starts talking about the iguanas and asked where we are from and said she was from South Africa (white girl)  and next thing she says she's not that good because she was mugged yesterday. Which was weird, and she said she has no money and could we help her out. Pretty sure I've heard this story before so I slowing walk away and leave Dwayne yakking with her.  After awhile he walks away and meets me. I guess I should have asked her if she went to the police? How about going to your embassy?Anyway think it was just a scam - I'm always skeptical of these stories, and they don't just want some change they want enough to go buy lunch!  I looked for her later to ask some questions but could see her, guess she left since she couldn't hit up tourists for "sorry money"

Love how the pigeons and iguanas share the same space :)

A little "pigeon-toed" LOL!!

This guy doesn't even mind the pigeon on his back

Turtle bridge

Yup Dwayne gingerly feeding the iguana :)

We go to a cafe to have something cold to drink, it's very hot here. After that we go inside the Metropolitan Cathedral of Guayaquil. Very large church which was started in 1924 and completed in 1937. It has alot of stained glass windows that are really beautiful.

Needed to get a bottle of water from the Oki Doki store😂

Metropolitan church of Guayaquil

Then is was time to find the bus to get us back, which was easy since it's the same spot we got off at. Pay our 60 cents and find a seat. Now the streets are grid locked with late afternoon traffic PLUS it's Friday PLUS it's Black Friday and EVERYONE is shopping!!! The mall parking lots are full! Oh well we don't need to worry about traffic, just sit back and watch the crazy drivers trying to squeeze in between the buses - they don't win very often! LOL!! We get off at the right stop and head back to Vanna. Once we got there we both had to shower to cool off - the temp on the bus showed it was 39C!! Not use to this heat!!  Tomorrow we will try more public transportation and again head back to the Malecón where most of the touristy things to see are 😍

Don't think WCB would approve bamboo scaffolding!!

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