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Freshwater swimming

Daule and Limonal


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'E' was woken up at 6am by a frantic phone call from her mother, who'd heard that at the rodeo in Babahoyo (a nearby town) one of the stands had collapsed, leaving about 15 dead and 60 injured. She'd forgotten that we were in Salitre and not Babahoyo.

Soberly, but also feeling relieved that the ricketty wooden stand we'd been sitting on had not also collapsed, we left Salitre between 9 and 10 am; the bus journey to Daule took half an hour or so. The first thing we did once we arrived was find an ATM and get some cash out - successfully, thank goodness. We wandered up to the riverbank next and 'E' asked a local about swimming places - he told her that a better place to swim wasn't in Daule itself but at a tiny hamlet called Limonal out in the countryside, further along the river, and we'd need to get a bus there.

Then we walked around for a while, checking out different eating places. 'E' was after a particular dish but nowhere seemed to do it, so in the end we sat down in a bakery and she had a type of sweet flaky pastry biscuit. I recognised it as a larger version of something I was given on both my flights from Madrid to Guayaquil. I still had a chocolate brownie left from the day before, so I didn't buy anything.

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I was on a hat-buying mission next so we found a shop that mostly sold car equipment but also had some hats. The owner said they were $15 each, but after a couple of minutes he accepted 2 for $25. Then we walked to the place where we'd been told we could catch a bus to Limonal.

The bus dropped us at a crossroads and we got a motor rickshaw to take us the rest of the way. The 'beach' was actually on the other side of the river, so a man took us over in what looked like an old wooden rowing boat that was actually powered by motor. It was 25c each.

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There were several families there. E and I took turns to swim - the water was refreshing and only took a second to get used to. The current was the strongest I've ever felt anywhere - before we got into the water I thought about swimming across and back again, but once I was actually in the river I realised it would be too dangerous to go out of my depth. The appearance of the river was quite deceptive, but if you stayed within your depth you were fine. We had a really good time; freshwater swimming in the middle of nowhere was a nice contrast to the dust and excitement and noise of the rodeo in Salitre.

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After we'd both had a swim and got changed, I had a plate of 'seco de pato' for lunch at a shack nearby that only sold that one thing. 'Seco de pato' is a type of duck stew, and like the vast majority of dishes here, is served with rice. It was lovely, just what I needed.

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A small boy paddled us back over the river. 'E' had some rice and beans at a shack by the riverbank before we carried on into Limonal. We thought we might have to get one bus to Daule and then another to Guayaquil, but as luck would have it only a minute later we saw a bus with 'Guayaquil' written on the front, so we jumped on that. It was only $1.25. The journey was pretty uneventful - more rice fields.

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Arrived back in Guayaquil mid-afternoon.

Posted by 3Traveller 06:35 Archived in Ecuador Tagged beaches ecuador ecuadorian_cuisine freshwater_swimming river_trip

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