Driving to Guayaquil

Driving to Guayaquil for Michelle’s US Visa – Vlog 7

Driving from Cuenca to Guayaquil is always an adventure, especially when passing through the stunning Cajas. This picturesque route takes around 3 to 3.5 hours, offering breathtaking landscapes but also presenting a few challenges due to its windy and high-altitude nature. Today’s journey is not just a scenic drive; it holds a specific purpose – securing Michelle’s US visa for an upcoming trip to Mexico. So, buckle up and join us on this road trip!

The Cajas Journey

The drive through the Cajas is a treat for the eyes, but it comes with its own set of considerations. As we navigate the winding roads, we’ll share a few tips to make this journey smoother for fellow travelers. The scenic beauty is worth the effort, and the Cajas’ unique charm makes it a must-visit on the way to Guayaquil.

Valentine’s Day in the Cajas

Coincidentally, today is Valentine’s Day, and we find ourselves near Hosteria Dos Chorreras, one of the Cajas’ gems. Known for its fantastic food, it’s an exception to our usual avoidance of buffets. The area is also renowned for trout fishing, offering a delightful experience for those who enjoy both fishing and a good meal.

Purpose of Mexico Trip

As we drive towards Guayaquil, Michelle sheds light on the main purpose of our upcoming Mexico trip. She’s attending a gathering of experts from various Latin American countries, focusing on the processes of death, dying, and grieving. The agenda includes intriguing topics such as green burials, home funerals, and the role of psychedelics in the dying process. The goal is to gather insights and bring this knowledge back to benefit our community in Cuenca.

Car Upgrade Plans

Aside from the visa adventure, there’s another significant change on the horizon – upgrading our car. Our trusty Volkswagen Gol has served us well for around five years, but with our family growing, we need a larger vehicle. The Toyota Highlander and Hyundai Santa Fe are top contenders, with the Highlander’s hybrid option catching our interest. However, the decision is not without its complexities, considering factors like the age of the car and potential challenges in finding the right model in Cuenca.

Chinese Cars and Car Market Challenges

While exploring car options, we considered Chinese cars briefly. However, the steep depreciation and certain market challenges made us reconsider. The Ecuadorian car market, with its high taxes, presents its own set of hurdles. Additionally, the availability of preferred models might necessitate a trip to Quito.

Changes in Landscape

Descending from the Cajas, the landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation. The temperature rises, and we witness a shift in vegetation, moving from cold, high altitudes to warmer, tropical surroundings. The journey is not just about the destination; it’s about embracing the changing beauty along the way.

Reflecting on the Journey

As we cruise through the highway towards Guayaquil, passing fruit trees and enjoying the tropical scenery, the drive evokes memories of highways in Australia. The contrast between the cold Cajas and the warmth of the lower altitude is a sensory delight.

Guayaquil Arrival and Traffic

Arriving in Guayaquil comes with its own set of challenges – traffic being a prominent one. Navigating through Duran, just outside Guayaquil, we find ourselves in the midst of peak-hour traffic on Valentine’s Day. Guayaquil, with its hot weather and chaotic traffic, isn’t Jason’s favorite driving destination.

Guayaquil Exploration

Despite the challenges, we explore Guayaquil, sharing our impressions. The city’s heat, traffic chaos, and security concerns are acknowledged. We introduce the new teleferico, a predominantly touristic attraction, and give a glimpse of our Airbnb located at the Malecon.

US Embassy Appointment

Michelle has an early morning appointment at the US Embassy, and strict security measures are in place. No phones or bags are allowed. The significance of obtaining the visa is emphasized, considering the potential implications for their Mexico trip.

Waiting in Guayaquil

With the appointment done, we wait in Guayaquil, juggling work and the anticipation of Michelle’s return. The plan is to head back to Cuenca for a short-term rental check-in, a reminder of the practical aspects of life amid exciting travels.

Wrapping Up

The wait is over, and Michelle emerges from the embassy with the coveted US tourist visa. The excitement for the upcoming trip to Mexico is now real. We cannot wait. 

See you next time!

Further reading:

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One Response

  1. This was really fun and informative, especially useful to me as I will be taking a car to Guayaquil soon to fly out of GYE. Now I know to make sure to ask the driver if his car has a/c, fog lamps, and good suspension! haha! I’m told it’s safe to fly out of Guayaquil but safer to fly back to Cuenca via Quito especially if you come back with significant luggage. Thanks! Congratulations on that visa!

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