We woke fairly late at the Hilton Hotel Colon(Bob was up and dressed by 8:30) and I
did my exercises then dressed. We had a lovely breakfast—one of the best we’ve
had in a long time. The buffet had sandwiches (hot or cold), sushi, fresh
fruit, cereals, a full carver ham, bacon, scrambled eggs, eggs benedict (Bob’s
was cooked med. well, pastries and a made to order omelet bar, fried potatoes,
chips and salsas and I don’t know what else. The staff brought tea and coffee.
There was five kinds of juice and a bottle of water was delivered to my table
After breakfast, we questioned the main desk about internet
access since it has a strange route to connect on Bob’s new Microsoft surface,
spotted the swimming pool, and asked for a map and how to get to the Anthropology
Museum safely. The answer was to buy a city tour. So we’re set up for a tour at
1pm. We returned to the room to do a little work—I wrote yesterday’s blog entry
and half of today’s, then logged into my class and answered the last question.
I found I was locked out of my Yahoo account and had forgotten to take my
Facebook password. Usually I can gain access to Facebook via Yahoo. Yahoo
allowed me to change my password then refused to send a verification code to my
gmail account. So now I have no access to most of my family members except via
The guide called and told us to come at 12:30, so we went
downstairs but we found no sign of the guide. But our contact with National
Geographic was, so Bob went with her to get the coupons for breakfast for
tomorrow and free drink coupons. The driver showed up, and finally our guide
arrived. He lives near the airport and he told us with elections coming to
Ecuador in March, the President was in town. Guayaquil is the largest
population center and tends to not like the President as much, most of the town
is working class and has the bulk of the money. The town has had the same mayor
for the past three years. Apparently they passed a law changing it so that the
mayor could only serve for two terms and our guide intimated that they might
change it so the president could serve more than two terms, or maybe he was
just voicing everyone’s worry.
Our tour took us down to the Carreo Passeo Mirador. It’s a
guarded overlook complete with a play area, some flowers and a view of downtown
Guayaquil. It was overcast, so we could only see the closest buildings of the
old down town. The town has grown quite substantially, with a newer downtown
with larger skyscrapers. It was a bit reminiscent of Panama City, except for
the eerie start of downtown Panama City where
you cross through salt flats seeing the buildings appear here and there.
Guayaquil is less developed in modern style.
Our next stop took us through town, past an old 1600 church,
along the two cross streets-Simon Bolivar Boulevard and Octubre 9th
Boulevard. Octubre 9th is the anniversary of when Ecuador obtained
their independence from Spain. Then we stopped at the town plaza, walking
through to get a few snapshots of the park and trees including an almond tree.
We went past the historic meeting place of Bolivar and the other general where
they agreed to not fight and go their separate ways. Our next stop was the
Museum of Archaeology and Modern Art, bypassing the Walk with its lush
tropical garden that was under construction.
The museum has a fine collection of carved rock and pottery
tracing back to the early roots of man’s appearance in South America, 7,000 ya
based on a find of a couple, man’s head crushed by a rock at the Vital site.
Many of the intact pieces of pottery were whistles with an
animal carving. They’d arranged the finds by local and habitat—monkeys in one
area of dry forest, pelican and crabs at the beach. The way people were
depicted was odd, their heads shaped, sometimes flattened boxlike on all sides,
other times pointed. The people used many piercing and other adornments.
One movie showed their kiln technique for working with shiny
mica based finishes. They placed three trees at 120 degrees and lit a fire at
their intersection. The pot to be kiln dried was set over the top and filled
with ashes. When the ashes melted into a finish, while still warm, dots,
streaks and other designs were rubbed out. They also showed the very precise
style of their circular art, star maps, and water flow maps that were incised
into the pottery. A grater used with soft vegetables was made by placing
pointed chips of rock into a pottery slab or the bottom of a bowl.
The modern art portion of the museum featured three
exhibits, Imaginarium by , a collection of paintings based on five themes of