Friday, February 8, 2013

A Landscape Architect in Ecuador-Spanish, Playgrounds and Interior "Design"

Guayaquil, Ecuador
Hola from South America. Today has been a fairly low key day as our delayed flight got us into Guayaquil around 12:30. We found our accommodations to be less than desirable (read: pretty terrible), however what do you expect for 20 beans a night. At least there was AC. Its hot down here. Our room is directly adjacent to the on ramp for a motorway and this led to an increase in noise as morning came. The 'piece de resistance' was the influx of noxious exhaust fumes being pumped into the room as the morning hours wore on. I love the smell of fossil fuels in the morning!

We spent our day wandering around the Malecon 2000 ( which is a very impressive (and long) riverfront park. It has small restaurants, many water features, small ponds, manicured and natural gardens, and tall overlooks that you can climb to check out the water and the city. There are two playgrounds along the Malecon and needless to say Ecuadorians do not share our same affection for playground fall surfacing or safety regulations in general. To this end, can anyone see anything that could possibly go wrong in the picture below.
There is No Ecuadorian Equivalent of OSHA...Just Sayin'
Pea Gravel Fall Surfacing for the Playground

Angled Planting Beds
Malecon 2000 from Tower Platform
Cerro del Carmen
In addition we walked inland a bit to explore the city further and climbed up to see the Cerro del Carmen. This plaza sits atop a small foothill overlooking Guayaquil and the 30' tall statue of Christ keeps a watchful eye on the city folk.  After a long day of walking and sitting, and eating and walking, and sitting some more, we reluctantly made our way back to our room for showers and prep for tomorrows early flight to the Galapagos. Andrea took the first of what was to be 2 cold showers.  I looked around the room to soak in the beauty of the situation. Brown 'rag roll' painted walls with painted cracks to make it look ?older and ? more ?worn down in here? (yes the ? were intentional it was my brain not computing). There was a puke green 'rag rolled' wall as an accent. An 18" Samsung CRT Television hung from a steel bar protruding from the aforementioned brown wall. What a site! That brings us to the bathroom. A toilet, sink and shower within about 5 square feet. The sink was the size of about half of a large water melon, and there was something odd about the shower. I noticed 3 wires extending from the wall into the shower head. Now I may be no electrician, but I do believe that people try not to combine electricity and water. No such concern here. These wires provided power to, what I am guessing, is a mini heating element within the shower head. Whatever the case may be, as I adjusted the shower head to prevent 90% of the water from shooting out of the side of this thing I got zapped, arm numbingly zapped not once, but 4 times. Good grief. Here is to a good night sleep and off to the Galapagos in the morning. Adios.

Tiny Sink
Electric Showerhead?!

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