We are fortunate to have a world traveler as a member of our Club.  Alan Gallaway was our program and told us about his latest trip to Ecuador.
"Ecuador means equator and it runs right through country. Quito is Capital of Ecuador, altitude 9350 ft. Largest city is Guayaquil, was where Alan flew into the country.
With a population over 16 Million, a Democratic government, using US dollars for currency they are the only country besides Panama to do so. Since 2001, this has been a big advantage for us.
Alan stayed at a beach town called Salinas, which juts out on a little peninsula. The climate was cooler than expected, and the temperature only varies about 5 degrees from high to low all year round at the Equator. The “High” was 74 degrees and “Low” was 69.  Earlier in year, the highs are 82 and lows 76.  The length of day here only varies by about 15 minutes all year round because it’s so close to the Equator.
He found a B & B in Salinas for $50 per night on Travelocity. The trip from Guayaquil to Salinas is about 90 mi and takes almost 2.5 hrs.  The owner of the B & B, Cesar Guillen, found a driver for $65, where usually a taxi is about $120.
Alan texted Cesar about tennis and found there was a tennis club about 2 mi from his house. The Club very nice with 4 hard courts and 4 clay courts. Club charged $10 and $20 with Juan Carlos, the club’s tennis pro. He made deal of $40 for the time I was there.
Things are relatively cheap. Whole chicken in supermarket was $5.75, $17.50 for a lobster dinner. Breakfast buffet for $6.99.
Alan hired a taxi to give him a tour. The Malecon is beautiful. “Malecon” is the Spanish name given to street that borders the water. No good English translation (Esplanade along a waterfront).
During the tour, they entered an army navy base that used to be American in WW II.  The driver said he was going to take Alan to the Chocolatera, which means chocolate factory in Spanish. Instead it is the name given to the formation at the end of the peninsula where the water roils up and gives off a brown appearance. The biggest tourist attraction in Ecuador is the Galapagos Islands, famous for the variety of species only found there.  There are 18 islands that are larger than one square kilometer. Darwin saw these islands and they helped him come up with the theory of evolution by natural selection.
Another interesting place is Cuenca in the highlands.   It has old European architecture.
The day before he left, Alan went to a Rotary meeting and as predictable, had a great time.  The meeting was in both English and Spanish. Alan exchanged club banners and enjoyed meeting everyone. One of the members managed a condo overlooking the beach, which was 3 bedrooms and rented for $65 per day.
Getting back for his return flight was a project because my flight left at 6:04 Fri morning. My B & B owner, Cesar had another B and B in Guayaquil, and he said he’d get driver to take me there the night before. A great solution to early morning travel without 3 A.M. “wake-ups” and hours of road trips to the airport.