Leaving Ecuador

Trip Start Dec 03, 2012
Trip End Aug 25, 2013

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Where I stayed
The Magic Bean Quito
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Ecuador  , Guayas,
Friday, May 24, 2013

A few days before we left Ecuador Thomas found a list of the world's 10 worst countries for robberies. We had visited 4 of them. I was congratulating myself for avoiding trouble, and still am, but the closest we have come so far to trouble was in our last few days in Ecuador.

Our final night in Quito was in the touristy Mariscal area, in a nice hostel, and we had an early if noisy, night. 6am next morning saw us heading to a bus terminal (a private terminal not a big public bus station - careful as aways) and on a 10 hr trip to Guataquil in the south. Somewhere along the journey, somehow (we never all left the bus) Paul's only jumper was lost/stolen. No big deal, but as he carries all our passports etc in his whizzy bang 24 zipper sleeveless jacket, which was hanging next to his seat, it sobered us up a bit.

Guayaquil is notorious for robbery, but so was Quito so we weren't overly concerned. But coming out of the bus terminal we took a taxi that we shouldn't have. I maintain I told Paul I didn't want to go in it, and he says the opposite... Anyway the guy had no idea where our hotel was, was grumpy as hell and had an indecipherable accent. We lost count of the number of times he stopped to ask the way, generally ignoring the advice he was given, until eventually we said enough, we'll take another taxi, please take us to the nearest shopping mall where we can get one safely. But he was so useless he couldn't take us back the the mall we'd recently passed and we ended up just getting out with all our luggage. By now it was dark.

No problem, we thought, well just get another taxi. Well, plenty empty taxis went past but no one stopped. Eventually a little blue car stopped opposite us and a young man came over, showed us a name tag, and said we were in a dangerous area, we should come with him. We were pretty suspicious, but his ID seemed to show he worked in health care (he said he worked in management) and eventually we all squeezed in with our big bags on our laps and he did indeed take us to our hotel, which was just a few minutes away. The dodgiest moment was when he reversed a couple of hundred metres down a dual carriageway to get the the right road.

We were very glad to get to our hostel, and very grateful. He took some photos of us and everything was very jolly, but he kind of spoiled the atmosphere by asking for some money (Paul already had 20 dollars ready to give him to say thank you).

Weirdly we saw this young man and his girlfriend (who spoke some English) twice afterwards. He came back to the hostel, just to have a look around as he lived locally and didn't know it existed, and a couple of days later, by pure chance, we were all at the same beach, briefly.

Our last full day in Ecuador was spent on a trip to the mangroves and coast, with our hosts from Hostel Iguanazu. We took a boat trip from Puerto El Morro to see bottlenosed dolphins, spoonbills, blue footed boobies and a big colony of frigate birds. We dipped our feet in the Pacific Ocean (huge swells but definitely no body surfing this time!) before heading back.
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