Magnums at noon!
This morning we tour Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city. In the commercial district we view City Hall and see large scale murals on the exterior of a bank building. These are reproductions of work inside the nearby art museum. At Seminario Park we see land iguanas! Here they walk freely, dig tunnels to lay eggs, and climb trees! Opposite the park we visit Guayaquil's gothic Cathedral. Our next stop is the old Market Place, an ornate, decorated iron structure designed by Gustave Eiffel. This is the start of the award-winning Malecon 2000 project, a waterfront esplanade along the Guayas River. The Malecon features gardens, fountains, shopping, restaurants, an IMAX theatre, as well as viewpoints, museums and monuments. We visit La Rotonda, a spectacular semicircle monument that commemorates the July 1822 meeting of two Latin American liberators, Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin, when it was decided that Guayaquil be annexed to what was then known as Gran Columbia (today, the countries of Ecuador, Columbia and Venezuela). We continue through the beautiful botanical gardens, at which point Magnum Ice Creams are served by Richard and Dawn. Richard has some difficulty persuading the ice cream salesman that he needs 28 Magnums. In the end he has to write it down and pay in advance. By the time Dawn arrives with her order of 20 more, he is used to bulk orders. Our city tour concludes in the artisan area in the Santa Ana community where we walk cobbled streets and local art galleries. Following a free afternoon spent mostly by the hotel swimming pool, we enjoy another wonderful buffet dinner in the hotel's Cafe Colon and then receive final instructions for tomorrow's flight to Galapagos. We can't wait!