I have heard so much about Guayaquil, that it is dangerous, to stay away, not to hail a cab on the street, not to walk around on my own. When we arrived at the airport, there was no driver from the hotel as had been planned. I called the hotel in a panic and when I asked about our ride, was told that the taxi driver was not answering his phone and to take a cab from the airport for $5. I told the desk clerk that I was worried because I read so many alerts from the US Embassy warning us not to take cabs in Guayaquil. A woman overheard my conversation and informed me that it was safe to take the airport cabs and that the other cabs were as dangerous for locals as they were for tourists. She brought me outside to show me which cabs were safe and told me that she wanted tourists to have a good experience in Guayaquil and to come back. I was touched by her concern.
I was scared last night and again this morning. Rebecca and I were glad to get off the islands and find safety in Guayaquil. I love this city! It has energy and spirit. We like our hotel, which is a 'hostal' located directly on the 'Malecon', with a balcony and a river view. The decor is funky and quaint, and the receptionist speaks English!!! What a difference that makes!
We walked to the cathedral to look at the iguanas in the park, and then walked the length of the Malecon, looking out onto the river Guayas at the boats and the islands across the way. A family came up to us to warn us about thieves and to watch carefully with our cellphones and cameras, again because they want tourists to enjoy their city and come back!
Iguana Up Close
We ate dinner at a table with a view across the river and watched the sun go down and the river go dark. It felt good to be back on Tierra Firma; no matter the reputation of this place, it feels like a city and it exudes great energy. The further away we are from Freddy, the safer we feel!