A Travellerspoint blog

Ecuador

MANTA, ECUADOR


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We are in Manta, so near the equator! This major port along Ecuador's central coast calls itself the Tuna Capital of the World.

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We visited a Tagua factory. It is a hard white nut that is carved into figurines, buttons, and other souvenirs.

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Tagua is, in a sense, saving elephants, as it can be used instead of ivory.

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According to our guide, plastic buttons would melt in Ecuador's tropical heat - but buttons made of Tagua will not! (Calumet friends - "Hello, my name is .Jose..and I work in a Button Factory!")

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I love the little slices of life we see as we travel.

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We made our way to nearby Montecristi, famous as the birthplace of the Panama hat. Skilled weavers work with the fibers of the Toquilla plant.

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There are still about 50 weavers in and around Montecristi, but much of the production of the hats has shifted to a nearby town.

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Montecristi's marketplace and Roman Catholic church.

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When in Montecristi, one must buy a Panama hat!

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Back in Manta, across the pier from the Serenity fisherman transfer bait fish - none of these fish will be on the menu tonight!

Posted by Swenigale 14:16 Archived in Ecuador

GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR


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We cruised miles into the Guayas River Delta and then took a bus another half hour into Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city and principal seaport. We received a four-legged welcome in Parque Bolivar. Iguanas are quite comfortable here, freely roaming about and hanging out in the trees.

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Across the street from the park is La Catedral - beautiful inside and out, and apparently free of Iguanas despite the open doors!

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Some of the beautiful historic buildings have survived the pirates, fires and earthquakes of the past.

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The Malecon El Salado was opened in 2001 as the city reclaimed the waterfront, providing a safe, beautiful place for citizens and tourists alike.

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Guess what's playing at the Imax?

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Walking home from school - giggling and flirting - a worldwide phenomenon

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The colorful houses are in Barrio Las Penas, home to many artists.

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There is a strong tradition of taking pride in and taking care of - shoes.

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A policeman's band played near La Rotonda, the monument honoring a meeting here in 1822 of Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin as they discussed strategies to liberate South America from Spain.

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Contemplation.

Posted by Swenigale 14:11 Archived in Ecuador

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