Getting To Ecuador

Traveling To The Marina

Map of Ecuador. Click on the map for a bigger version (87 kb); use your browser's "back" command to return here.  

In Ecuador, buses are an ordinary and respectible means of transportation.  

Street scene in a typical town of the region.  

The handsome plaque at the entrance to the Puerto Lucia Yacht Club. The location says Salinas but it's actually in La Libertád—Salinas is a better address for a posh club.  

It was very hot and humid in Guayaquil, and I was completely unadjusted to the climate. I had two 50-lb duffel bags and a couple of carry-ons, so David and Marcie helped carry my bags as we walked to a taxi stand. After a short taxi ride, we arrived at the main bus terminal in Guayaquil. It had a long room lined with booths representing bus lines that could take you anywhere in Ecuador (which is a small country about the size of Nevada), and nearly anywhere in South America, too. Unlike the U.S., buses here are an ordinary and respectable means of transportation.

Guayaquil was incredibly busy, with lots of traffic and built-up areas. In some ways, it reminded me of a tropical version of highly-industrialized Baltimore. As we headed out of town, there was more open land, and the land became noticably more arid as we neared the coast.

Along the way, we passed through several small towns, each of which had a large speed bump to slow the fast-moving highway traffic. The houses and shops along the street were highly individualistic, and many were brightly painted. It seems that people build their own houses and shops, in whatever style they prefer, using whatever materials they can afford and procure. The towns had the usual open-front shops, with people sitting out front or milling around.

As the bus slowed down coming into a town, vendors would hop aboard and walk up and down the aisle, selling home-cooked snacks or bottles of purified water. Other people outside hawked their wares through the open windows of the bus (which had no air-conditioning). As the bus reached the other end of town, it would slow down and the vendors would hop off. They had to hit the ground running since the bus would still be traveling at a pretty good clip.

After a two-hour ride, we reached La Libertád, a town on the Pacific coast in a resort area of Ecuador. On most maps, La Libertád is too small to appear, but it is just up the coast from Salinas, which is a bigger town. We got off in the center of town then took a cab a short distance to a resort marina called Puerto Lucia. The marina had a big, impressive, locked gate that was opened for us by an attendant.

The cab dropped us off right next to Nine of Cups, which was still "on the hard" (hauled out and blocked-up on land). We unloaded the cab and climbed aboard Nine of Cups, then spent the early evening chatting and resuming our friendship. It takes very little effort for compatible cruisers to resume a friendship, so I immediately felt comfortable being with them on their boat. I tried to unpack and get squared away but I had so much stuff it was hard to manage. It'll take me a few days to work out the stowage.

Plus, we'll all have to chip away at the 1,001 things remaining on the to-do list, all of which must be completed before we can depart on a major voyage. The current plan is to launch the boat a week from Saturday and sail away to the Galápagos the following Tuesday, but of course, the plan is subject to last-minute revision. We called it a night early (by my standards, 9 p.m.) but I spent another hour and a half catching up with my journal.

In the next section, I'll show you more of the marina and La Libertád, Ecuador.

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