It is very early in Salinas Ecuador. Before I get started this morning I just need to talk about a few important things, at least they are important to me.
First, I would like to thank the internet gods right now. It is 4:45 in the morning and I suspect the internet is working because I am the only one in the hostel that is using it. Everyone is asleep. All I hear is the humming of the air conditioners. No matter the reason, I am very grateful it is connected and it is fast too.
I woke up this morning thinking about how fortunate I am. What a great time we are having. What wonderful friends I am surrounded with and what a great bunch of new people from all over the world I am meeting. I don’t take these things for granted and if any of you are reading this, just wanted to say thank you for this great time we are having….
My sentimental side is always on the surface before the sun comes up. I am actually crying right now…. OK, so maybe I am not crying but my back really hurts from typing in bed….
Lets talk about Salinas Ecuador
There are still a few things I am not sure about so let me tell you one of them right now.
I got the impression that there is more than one bus station in Guayaquil. Without a handle on the Spanish language you need to get all this straight before you give instructions to the taxi driver. When leaving the Hotel Continental we had the best English speaking doorman discussing and translating with a bellman and two taxi drivers where we were going. We all finally agreed but it took about 5 minutes.
Many people take the regular bus, but some take vans and some take mini busses … still not sure myself. But in any case, make sure you decide what kind of transport you want to take before you go. We decided to take the regular bus. I like doing this. The experience for me is fun… and it is cheap. Only $3.25 from Guayaquil to Salinas Ecuador.
Salinas Ecuador is very popular with just about everyone. We were told that there is a bus that leaves from Guayaquil to Salinas every 7 minutes. It is a miracle of efficiency and seems to run like clockwork.
Don’t worry about your luggage. It gets carried by you to the bus and they give you a coupon to retrieve it right at the bus as you watch them put it in the lower compartment. I always carry my expensive electronics (computer) with me in a separate bag. I like those items close so I carry them on.
The first picture is the Guayaquil Bus Terminal. Now be prepared to see what looks to be a shopping mall when you walk in. There are a lot of stores but stay to the left and the ticket counters start after you walk thru the retail area…
Below you see my group standing in line. The only destination with a long line is Salinas so there is a guard that helps keep order. Remember that the most popular mode of transport in Ecuador is bus. This place will blow you away. It looks like a large airport terminal but not as spread out. My guess is there are more than 100 ticket windows. This place is three levels tall with lots of people and stores and places to eat. As you can see from the picture, Salinas is ticket window 84. Ask someone because like everything else around here, it could change overnight….
Once you have your ticket do not linger. Get you butt over to the gate that is written on the small ticket they gave you. Save the big receipt, it has your seat numbers on it. The gates are on the top level……
Most of the busses that I have been on are alright. Reclining seats, clean, even a movie and music. Go to the bathroom before you buy your ticket. Just trust me on this one. I think there is a bathroom on the bus but I did not see anyone use it. I did see two small children (boys) use an empty soda bottle to pee in. Gotta love it…
Below is a picture of two very handsome gringos having a great time riding the bus. I am asked a lot if this is safe. Again, I will tell you that I do not feel unsafe. The baggage is secure below, and I never feel anything but relieved that I made the connection and am sitting safely on a clean, air conditioned vehicle that is headed for my next adventure. No fear…. just fun.
So we finally get to Salinas. By the way, it is not the first stop. Just relax because there are many, maybe 5 or 6 stops along the way before you get to the end of the line. The bus pretty much empties out when it gets to Salinas, so just sit back and enjoy until that happens.
Make sure you have a phone number and directions to where you want to go written down. Especially if you don’t speak Spanish. Salinas is a big place. Don’t assume the taxi driver knows your destination by name. Just relax, find a taxi, try not to look like a fish out of water….
Don’t forget to be friendly but ask how much the fare is before you get going. Shouldn’t be more than $5.
Below is a picture of the exterior of Big Ralph’s. We liked this place. Ralph is a wealth of knowledge and he is willing to share it. He and his wife Andrea are fantastic. They are why Big Ralph’s is such a great place. Not luxurious, but a very clean and very friendly place to stay. We would come here again. Here is the link to Big Ralph’s. Just fill in how many nights and how many people and he will email you the information.
And a couple of other things. Big Ralph’s serves the best dinner and has the best prices for that dinner in town. Do not miss eating here if you have the chance. If you stay somewhere else, go here for dinner. I can not tell you loud enough how good the food was..
The other good thing about Big Ralph’s is that there is this ice cream store just around the corner. It is expensive but it is the best ice cream I have had in Ecuador. The chocolate taco was 4 times the size of the ones you get in the states. We were there twice a day… oink oink….
We were about 2 blocks off the beach and what a nice beach. Here is Chad (Handstand Chad) doing his ritual handstand. Take a look at how nice the sand is and all those great buildings in the background. We had a nice walk every day and managed to do the entire Malecon without a problem. Not to many stores or restaurants open early in the morning but just before noon things get moving.
Finding early morning coffee is a challenge. Bring instant coffee if this worries you…
If you walk along the Malecon you will certainly see some wonderful things. This sand castle was amazing and make sure to throw in a quarter of fifty cents into the tip jar.
Take your picture in front of it. I went down and stood right by it. The artist was very friendly and very grateful.
We are leaving pretty soon for our next destination so I need to finish this up.
We like Salinas Ecuador and if you don’t mind a little heat and warm sunshine than this might be the place for you. If you have been to Miami on a warm humid day, that is what it felt like. Intense sun, but the overcast makes it ok. I hear that March, April, and May are the really hot and humid months so use that information for whatever it is worth.
Here are a few more pictures then I have to run for the bus….
We saw this crash on our walk along the beach… I think the driver was drinking a little… The pole was fixed by the next day!
We love to have fun on our walks. Here is a great sign along the Salinas Malecon. Anything for a photo opportunity so Chad climbs up and does all kinds of athletic things to the sign bordering on obscene… but what a great time.
The last picture is of me asking you to like this post and share it with any of your Facebook friends, especially those who like to travel or are at retirement age. This was right on the beach in Salinas Ecuador. This place if fun.
That’s it for now. It is 6:30 in the morning. We are going for a short run, will eat the free breakfast here, and then catch a bus at about 10.
Thanks for reading everyone.
Ask questions or make comments below.
My next post will be about our time in Montanita Ecuador, just up the coast a bit.
And hi Jean and Joan, Vic and Randy, thanks for coming over to Big Ralph’s for dinner. We had a great time. Salinas Ecuador was fun.
Have a great day everyone……