The city of Guayaquil and las Penas
It has been 2 days now since my arrival. Last night I went to bed at 8 due to the jet lag, but the advantage was that I got up at 6am. So I went for a morning run and swim. Later on I got into the city to discover the city of Guayaquil. There is a great river promenade called the Malecon 2000. It brings you by different nice spots and bars. Yet the best is kept for the last. (or the beginning of you start the other way around). Las Peñas is a small hill village full of colorful little houses. At the top there is a lighthouse that provides a great view over the city of Guayaquil.
Is Guayaquil dangerous ?
Shortly after I arrived at the center of Guayaquil, I believe to have had an almost being robbed situation…
when I entered a little park I saw some strange guys looking at me and one was pointing at me. They didn’t know I saw them as I glanced at them through my reflecting glasses. Aha.. pretty handy! Then a bit later, on Avenue 9 de Octubre, kind of the fifth avenue of Ecuador, these guys pull up next to me at a red light. One of them touches me 3 times with his arm. I knew something was a bit strange, so I immediately stepped back, so I had them both in side. All of a sudden they go into another direction, but I kept my eye on them. When one of them look back at me, I gave him the Italian two fingers “I am looking at you” move. Of course they were frightened by such majestic street moves… Didn’t see them again.
A happy old man that travelled the world
By the end of that day, I had my best experience so far. This old little man walks past me after I just came down the 400 and more stairs of the little village in Las Peñas and asked me if I spoke English. Off course I said yes, but a bit Spanish too. (so the whole conversation went on in Spanish J ). He asked me where I came from and when I said Belgium, he started summing up some cities like Brugges and Brussels, and told me he had seen “manneken pis” too. So I invited him to come and sit with me on this bench and we talked for about an hour about Europe and so on. He had lived in Spain and Portugal, but had visited nearly all the countries of western Europe. He talked about marijuana and the “windows” in Amsterdam, the amazing food in Andalucía, some great places in Portugal and he agreed about the fact that the best chocolates and beers come from Belgium. The man was 84 years old, depending on his cane to walk and had no teeth left. He told me his head was still clear, but his body was all used up. “I’m in the last straight line of life” he said, “but that is ok, cause life has been good for me”. By the time you read this, that man could already be dead. But during that short moment we shared, the laughs and giggles coming from this old man, both of us were perfectly happy. I wish him all the best.