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Am staying at a Howard Johnson resort hotel in Manta, Ecuador tonight following a few days of not too successful accommodation in Guayaquil. This morning traveled from Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador situated in the far South of Ecuador near Peru. Accommodation was in Hampton Inn by Hilton, and I had thought I could not go wrong with that, but not of the best places I stayed at. Also not too keen on Guayaquil, too many people per square inch of space, gray, dirty, and scuffed. High crime city known for car jackings. Could also be that my biorhythms were just completely out of sync with this place. Did some basic tours, walked long distances, but was most relieved when I left this morning on a four hour journey North West to the Pacific Coast. I was very lucky with the taxi I managed to get, guy s name is Pablo, and he is very much a Pablo, jovial, but at the same time a great driver. Beautiful drive in completely flat terrain, in contrast with the travelling I ve done in the Andes mountain areas, all of which had been in mountain passes.

Pablo and I reached our destination of Bahia at 2:00 PM, and the accommodation turned out to be a disaster, particularly relative to the cost of it as well. So decided to bail out of both accommodation and the very dead Pacific Coast town. Pablo helped me out and we ended doing two further hours of travel South, to Manta and the Howard Johnson. I was going to stay for one night only but was just bowled over by the view. All of it at a very decent rate as well. Limitless view of the Pacific Ocean from a spacious balcony, pelicans and could see whales as well. Did help that all of the clouds had lifted and it was a perfect sunshine day when I checked in. Manta appears to be an enormous natural port for Ecuador, and we also passed a ship building yard on our way here. Lots of places to explore tomorrow and may go for a trip further south equivalent to the California scenic coast trips. They call it the Sunshine Coast. There is also a Panama Hat Factory in Monte Christo, a town East of Manta I may explore as well.

Brain feels perfectly normal after having been frozen in Guayaquil. Am back to enjoying myself again.

9 blog comments below

I am glad to hear you are enjoying yourself again. Wow, taxi on a four hour trip. Pablo has a long trip home. Can't wait to see the pictures of the Pacific from your balcony. Did you get a picture of the Whales?
standready on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:38 pm
@Standready. The whales were a little far out. And my camera is a tiny Canon, 5X zoom only. Am hoping to go out on a trip, so who knows may be able to see some up close. Today was not a good day for it as it was very gusty and windy.

Must say it is wonderful to do my posting with the rushing of the waves of the Pacific in the background. For me I'm in the best place yet of all of the trip. Only part that is not so good for Manta here in Ecuador is its high crime rate and of course the reason for it, which is a great disparity in those who have, and those who don't have. People though act everything but suffering and begging. In overall, those I've come across have been helpful and friendly without that consciousness of the world has to bale them out and owes them a living.
deanhills on Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:22 am
I was reading your post and then I saw "Bahia". All I was thinking was "LOL Dean is here is Brazil!". Bahia is one of the 26 Brazilian states and I think it's the second most famous (is that right?) after Rio de Janeiro.

You should add some pictures, Dean. Very Happy
Vanilla on Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:52 pm
I've got plenty of pictures, but need to rework them as they are huge in size. Should be able to upload some by October when I return.

Am going on a whale watching trip tomorrow in Puerto Lopez. Tempted to extend my trip in Manta and shorten my trip in Quito, the last leg of my holiday. Am really taken with the Pacific Coast. Had a fun exploration of the beaches today in Manta. People here take Siesta from 12 or 1 to 3 or 4. So I saw some blue carts on the beach that looked like ice cream carts to me, except they turned out to be beer carts. No problem with drinking beer anywhere in public.

deanhills on Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:02 am
Now Dean, is that your 'backside' we are seeing in the picture? laugh Belly up to the cart, boys!
standready on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:50 pm
A good one Stand! Very Happy
deanhills on Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:01 am
Really sorry to hear about the awful earthquake in Ecuador. And to my most favourite city in Ecuador - Manta - when I was travelling there in 2012. Was trying to find photos of the Howard Johnson Hotel after the quake but unable to find any.

Wonder whether a tsunami is still a possibility.

Amazing that the Galapagos Islands were unscathed through it all. Yet Guayaquil, a few hundred kilometres south east from Manta was also severely affected.

Feel particularly sorry for Manta that has been relying so much on income from tourists.
deanhills on Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:09 pm
I did a search in Google Earth for Howard Johnson hotel in Manta, and it showed the "MantaHost Hotel". I couldn't verify that it was actually a Howard Johnson hotel at first, then I saw photos labeled "Playa del Hotel Howard Johnson" right next to it. No new pictures, of course, but there are a couple of scenic views there. Here is one that should help verify the identity of the hotel:

Another nice photo:
SonLight on Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:21 pm
Thanks Sonlight. Looks like the Hotel for sure. So Mantahost Hotel it is. Bringing back really great memories. Was definitely the highlight of the whole of my trip to Ecuador.

I've written a "review" at TripAdvisor hoping to find out what state it is in, so will be watching it from here:

I Googled and couldn't find any detailed info about Manta tourism other than that the airport is closed for commercial flights. I did however find has bookings available at 79% discount, so who knows, maybe it is open for business:
deanhills on Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:32 pm

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