Guayaquil

Guayaquil — Jan 11th

This was our last city, this day has finally come, the trip winding down, count down on.

We had two nights, three days here and I can not believe that the trip is over. There has been amazing memories, laughs, experiences, connections, it all has been there. Time flies as we get older — that is FOR SURE.

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Anyway, this town is at sea level and it was the first time this whole program we were at that elevation. It was HOT and HUMMID the second we stepped off that bus but the nights were quite lovely and warm unlike anywhere else we had stayed.

We dropped our bags at the hotel and went adventuring. There was a park that had iguanas living in it, so we had to go see that — it wasn’t as intriguing as it sounded. We were starving after trying to find dinner. A bunch of us ended up getting $1.50 empanadas at this vendor. I went a little crazy and got four.. only ate 2.5 of them MAYBE. But they were really good, big, filling and definitely hand made — nothing will beat the homemade ones in Ottovalo though, mouth watering!!!!

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Guayaquill was actually really fun and hard to say. Daniella kept correcting us cause the “G” is suppose to sound more of a “W” sound and the “quil” isn’t like kill but more like keel sound — why-ya-keel. But it was really fun to say GUAYAKILLLL the wrong way, obviously.

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Here went on our business trips which was all about chocolate. I learned SO much about it, how its made, where it comes from, the process, the taste of it, all was a cool experience.

So I did not mention it as much as the beginning of the list of people that got sick but by the last day, the last 4-5 of us got sick too. From fever, stomach thing to travelers diarrhea. I was one of those people. I pushed myself too much with no sleep and tried to go out for the last night cause I didn’t see the cool stairs where all the bars were that some already did. I had major FOMO on the trip. I was running on no sleep from the night before and my stomach was bothering but I pushed threw.

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Got home late from the bars, it was kind of a fail and we all were tired and grumpy but tried to make the best of it. Shef, Rachel and I all hung for sec before going to bed and I felt as if I was going to puke. Well about two hours into the night I did. I was doing both areas. I didn’t really sleep and I just kept trying to throw up as much as I could because our last day was the BEACH DAY and I was NOT missing that.

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So after having even less sleep than before and having my stomach in knots, I made it onto the bus to sleep for 2.5 hours on our way to the beach. I woke up and were just about there — it was great & I kind of felt better, kind of.

This was my first time swimming in the Pacific and the water was very clear in Ecuador! There were cabanas all up the beach that you had to rent from people. Now when I was in Europe, I thought the people on the street were bothering you for buy things — well South America is a bit worse. Every 2 minutes it felt like there was a merchant was trying to sell us something.

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UNFORTUNATELY, some of the people in our cabana bought some mangos from this man and as they were getting their money, Shef put her phone down and bought mangos. The next thing she noticed that her phone was not here anymore. We looked in the sand, in her bag, everywhere under this small cabana. Then we started calling it and it would pick up but it would be like a pocket answer or something. Here the MANGO MAN stole Shef’s phone, or at least one of his henchmen did. I was in the water when all of that happened so walking up to the cabana to people freaking out added to the beach day HA.

Shef was a great sport about and realized she can get a new one and its just a material thing. As she said — it was the most expensive mangos she has ever bought. We never found it. Mango Man shut the phone off before we could track it. The beach was a bit sketchy after that. But the water was amazing, I got tan, the sun was good to me. It was a beautiful last day in Ecuador.

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We went to have lunch and everyone was having a grand ol’ time still drinking on the beach and I was dying at the lunch table having to smell all that delicious seafood. I was super bummed on missing our last seafood meal by the coast because I love seafood — especially shrimp which I thought everyone found out eventually about me.

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That night we showered, packed out bags and had a red eye from Ecuador to Miami where we landed at 4:30am. The whole travel day was blur cause I was so exhausted from the trip, from being sick and than had to deal with customs and seeing lots of people everywhere. BUT it felt good to be in American soil and use my card again. Then we headed to Denver from there landing at 10am Sunday January 14th.

Such a crazy trip, and just like that it is over.

Highlights:

  • Being by the coast — even the city had this warm breeze blowing there it at night that reminded me of the beach back home
  • Going to the beach — another first — swimming in the Pacific, it was so nice!
  • Empanadas at such easy access — they were so good!! Fav was chicken or the pizza one
  • Iguana park — they were really chill and it was cool to see LOTS of them hanging out

Downfalls:

  • Getting sick on the last day — I got the flu from my flu shot at the end of December and was throwing up and then a month later throwing up again, not my favorite. I hope I never get sick in 2018 AGAIN!!
  • The commute to the beach — I think to maybe do beach day first and drive there from Cuenca and stay there a night. Then head to Guayaquil the last two days might be a better idea because it did suck being in the car more then being on the beach — we all loved it and made the best of it!!
  • Not being able to eat my last bit of fresh seafood — being sick is never fun.
  • Mango Man stealing Shef’s phone — it definitely seems like it happens a lot
  • Red eye flight back — it was nice having all day of Sunday to chill but you get so tired from red eyes

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