Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guayaquil Day 2

Omar and I stumbled out of the hotel after a huge breakfast and discovering I had left some of my meds in Austin. Damn my memory. It is starting to really bother me that I can't still balance 152 projects at the same time, like I used to in the old days. We go looking for a Farmacia and investigate whether the prescription issue is a loose as we have heard. As we turn the corner we run into a huge parade that apparently is pretty special (turns out it is Dia de Guayaquil--each major city has a day of freedom from Spain and October 9th is this day for Guayaquil).

There are bands and bands from local schools carrying their banners and some have more military orientation than others. About a block or two down we see a "Dignitaries" stand (elevated about 20 ft in the air and covered on top and from the rear) that probably has the mayor and other city government officials among the participants.

There are National Armed Forces, Guayaquil Police and a myriad of law enforcement people, all armed with a substantial display of weaponry. The corner we turned at must also be the end of the parade as disbursement from this area is a madhouse. We locate the farmacia and fill my needs with a small issue, but none that couldn't be handled with American greenbacks.

Vendors were hawking sliced pineapple rings on spears and other candies and drinks. Omar asked one young vendor how much a plastic container of water was. He stated $.25 each. This was our first encounter with the cheap cost of living. Amazing the same bottle of water in the US is around $1.29 to $1.49.

We arrived back at the hotel just in time to catch our shuttle to Cuenca (At first they wanted I believe $180 and Omar got it down to $105--be ready to negotiate everything if you go). We left the hotel and tried to force our luggage into the smallest vehicle I have ever seen. I looked at Omar "like there is no damn way I can ride to Cuenca in this tuna fish can of a car".

We discover that this is only a car that will take us to the real shuttle by the airport. So....another bill is added to our original bid and when we arrive at the shuttle office I stayed with the bags in the shuttle (a 5 seat large Ford van) and Omar went into the office. He thought and I worried if he would come back out in one piece! Soon as Omar paid the fee we were on our way to Cuenca.

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