Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fun Street Photography, more shopping, and Dinner in Quayaquil



FACTOIDS:

VEY IMPORTANT: EVERY HOTEL HAS A BUSINESS CARD- ALWAYS TAKE SEVERAL TO HAND TO CABBIES- VERY FEW PEOPLE SPEAK ENGLISH- IT WILL SAVE YOUR HIDE!
Another life saver- in addition to taking cards with you, it is a great idea to take a pic of the outside of the hotel, the card, and even the street sign and intersection.  You cannot imagine how helpless you can feel not speaking the language.
When you go out, do NOT flash anything expensive
Wear a money belt, or something to keep valuables safe
Use safe in the hotel
I like to keep money in two places- one hidden so that if mugged, the mugger will be satisfied and I will still have enough money to get home.  I never go out with a lot of cash
I advise taking two credit cards or one card and one debit card in case one is lost or is compromised
I strongly advise everyone take along a safari vest.  I keep harping on this and I know it is dorky but, used it this trip.  Some smaller planes will not allow for even a small carry on bag.  Some will have restrictive carry on weight restrictions.  I was forced to part with my camera gear.  Fortunately, everything of value fit into my vest. 
I always advise going out using the buddy system to keep an eye on each other.  Also, it is helpful if someone has an excellent sense of direction.
Speak with phone company and turn off “data roaming” so you don’t get hit with a huge bill for internet.  You will still get text messages and phone calls however.

Guayaquil is a very modern city by many standards.  It has several modern-looking malls, that would look like home were it not for the “strange looking” brand names and foreign language.  In general, things are much less expensive here in Ecuador; however, there are some very notable exceptions.  Electronics such as computers, phones, large appliances and durable goods are VERY expensive.  That large screen TV that costs $700 at COSTCO may cost $4000 in Ecuador.  Want to import your car?  Forget it.  Groceries are inexpensive, but unless you go to local “markets”, you really won’t save a lot of money.  You also won’t really get a feel for the fun of being in a foreign country or dickering on a price (if that is your cup of tea).  With that in mind, here are some market pics, and some other street scenes around Guayaquil.

Covered market that sold mainly dry goods and sundries.  Jewelry, clothes, handbags, and whatever you can imagine.  I purchased my “Panama Hat” at this market for $14 USD.  At the hotel, same hat, $60.00.  Be prepared to dicker, it is their way of life.  They see gringo, and they think $$$.  Unless you absolutely MUST have that particular item, be prepared to walk if they don’t come down to a price you are willing to pay.  Don’t worry however; chances are that you will find it or a better one in a stall nearby.

Apology in advance- many of the pics were taken with my point and shoot camera, so quality isn't that great. Sorry.

FACTOIDS PICS:


Locking camera bag (thinktankphoto.com), with cable lock (see below).  Excellent “sense of security” for when leaving valuables in room when they don’t fit in a safe. The combination can be changed easily- but don’t forget it- write it down on and save on the inside while unlocked!


 


 
Wire-loop combination lock to secure bag.  Again, combination lock can be changed.  Nice!



  
Guayaquil Artesian Market.  It is hot, humid, cramped, but fun.  The power went out twice and stayed out the second time before I just gave up.  It is well worth a trip as it will save $$$, and it is a great place to find “stuff”.  Don’t forget to dicker for that best price.

Outside appearance of one of the entrances.


 
Indigent with child.




 
Mother and child.


  Camera shy chica, loves her food.


Artisan at work creating.


 
Casket makers.


 
El Guapo!  This young worker thought he was all that and more.  He saw I was shooting and demanded his pic be made.  So El Guapo, thumb’s up to you too- stay interesting my friend!



 
 
Ethical question solved, or “What would you have done if only…


So there are time when I am walking and I see something wrong that just begs to be righted.  This was one of those situations.  Notice this classic green beauty.  You too have likely noted that the headlights have been left on, and nobody is in the car.  The windows are up.  Of course, I don’t speak the language well, and so couldn’t explain that I wanted to just help by turning them off.  However, that wasn’t what solved the ethical dilemma (i.e., should I intervene or should I not).  See next pic.



What solved the issue was the state of the art security system.  No way was I going to mess with this Fort Knox on wheels!



A nice dinner after a long hot, hard day of seeing the sites of Guayaquil.


Fancy dinner after a long day.



 
Appetizers, and some good tasting stuff?    Colorful stuff too.


 
Crevice Soup.


 
Night view of fancy restaurant on my tripod- long exposure.




 Tomorrow we will go to the mall to do some shopping!