We had to go to Guayaquil to get our cedula. That is like our National ID card. It lets us get discounts on several things and we get taxes back at the end of the year on purchases we have made. That’s a good thing. Because Guayaquil is over by Playas, we decided to go back to our old stomping grounds and see old friends there before we got the cedula. We decided to go to Guayaquil afterwards because by the time we took a bus there from Portoviejo, it would be late and we didn’t know how long it would take to get the cedula. From our previous experience, we stayed in those government buildings all day and still had to come back.
We took the bus to the Guayaquil bus station and arrived about 2:30. The bus was air-conditioned and had good roomy seats. It even showed a movie, but since there were no English subtitles, I just looked out the window and “rested my eyes” from time to time. The bus station is like a mall with a food court, so we went to eat lunch. Afterwards, we got another bus for Playas and arrived in Playas at about 5:30. (2 hour ride). We got off and Leo called, Walter, a cab driver we used to use. Thank heavens Leo still had his number in his phone. He gave us a ride to Joanne’s house at the 5K marker. It was so good to see her again. We caught up on what we had all been doing and had a Pilsner on her rooftop terrace. It is cool up there and you had a glimpse of the ocean.
We left to catch the bus to El Paseo in Playas, but actually Joanne flagged down a car, which is common around there. A car with 2 guys in it stopped and the 3 of us jumped in. Leo had to pay $1.50 for us when we got to the Mall safely. Hitchhiking is not something we usually do, but I guess Joanne does even when she is alone.
We arrived a El Paseo Shopping Center and found a cab to take us the Restaurant. It turned out to be a cab driver that Joanne often uses so we were on our way.
When we arrived, the others who were joining us had already arrived. We were happy to see our friend, Arthur, and two couples that were new to us. One woman was Ecuadorian, two were Canadian, and one was American. Everyone was very nice and we had great conversation for an enjoyable evening. The food was as good as his father’s restaurant. We went home to Joanne’s house. She has a house where she rents rooms. It is very nice and comfortable. If anyone wants info on her place, let me know.
The next morning the three of us walked on the beach. We saw a huge jellyfish washed up on the shore. We also saw some very small man of wars on the shore, too. We looked at a new resort on the beach. It was very pretty from the outside. We saw several container ships waiting to go up the river to Guayaquil.
Afterwards, we went back to Joanne’s to eat breakfast. About 11:00, Leo and I bid farewell to Joanne, and headed to the main road to get a bus.
One came quickly and we rode to just past the mall to head to Wendy and Neil’s house. They live at Casa Iguana on the bottom floor and we used to live on the top floor. It was so good to see them. We sat around and talked and then had lunch.
Then we went across the street to Elenita’s place to have a beer. We wanted to say hello to her. We used to eat there quite a lot since it is right across the street from Casa Iguana. We then went to the Mall to grocery shop for a few items.
During the day, Josue, the care taker of Casa Iguana came to fix something, so it was good to see him. too. He was the one who brought us to Crucita when we left. At about 6:30 Christine and Gary came by to walk to Kas Kas with us. It was good to see them again, too. I had a chance to talk with Christine while we walked. It was great going to Kas Kas again, because it was one of our favorite restaurants there. I got my all time favorite, arroz con camarones, shrimp and rice. Yum! We met a few more expat couples that evening at dinner. It is amazing how nice all the expats are that we have met here in Ecuador. One couple there was from Canada and the other was American and Ecuadorian. We had such a nice evening.
We walked back to Wendy and Neil’s and went to bed. The next morning we got up at 6:00 so we could catch the 8:00 bus. We had a nice breakfast in their courtyard before leaving. We caught the 8:30 bus for Guayaquil, no air conditioning.
We took a cab to the cedula place. We stood in line to get a number for about 15 minutes and then were called within 15 minutes. That was a SHORT time. We were in the stall with a woman who processed our papers for another 15 minutes, she took our picture and we went off to wait about another 15 minutes to collect our passports and cedula. Now that was great! We did not need a marriage certificate, or birth certificate for this. We only needed the papers they gave us at the residency office in Manta. We did need a color copy of our passport picture page, and of the residency visa page. That was all. Plus $5.00 each. It is getting easier than we had previously thought.
We grabbed a cab and went back to the Bus Terminal and ate lunch and bought a sound system for our computer and music in the Mall. Then got tickets for the next express bus to Portoviejo. We got back to Portoviejo at about 5:30 and we got a local bus back to Crucita. We got home and we were tired! We watched some TV and went to bed. Getting away is fun, but it is always nice to get home!
Here are a few scenes from the bus leaving Playas.