This first thing you notice about Guayaquil and the western coast of Ecuador is the heat. The bus journey here was difficult and walking through the city is like walking through a sauna.
The second thing you notice about Ecuador is that hotels are much more expensive than in Peru and not nearly as good value for money.
The third thing you notice is that the city is not quite as it is promoted by the city´s tourist board. It has one nice street, the malecón and Las Peñas.
The Malecón competes with Las Peñas to be the most beautiful part of the city. Sprawling along the river bank it was built for the millennium celebrations, and all the locals come here for a walk. It has a restaurant here and there, a cinema, children’s playground and a park.
Las Peñas used to be a very poor part of town – across South America the poor always live up on the hills. It has now been restored and set up as a tourist attraction, and the locals have set up a variety of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. We were very unlucky on beginning our 444 step climb to the lighthouse at the top. It was already 32c, but cloudy. From around step 50 the strong sun appeared from behind the clouds to torture us. I am sweating just thinking about it.