Well I’m back in Long Beach for a short stay after two months on the Bear. As some of you know I’m working on a QMED minor in adition to my MT degree. This first cruise I did my freshman engine cruise for the minor and then next cruise I’ll be back up on deck. Anyways, it was quite experience. If I had to say so, I’d reccomend that any deckys out there that have the oppurtunity to get some engine room experience I’d say take it! Probably one of the best decisions I’ve made at this school.
Anyways now for the good juicy stuff that everyones waiting for… port reviews. First stop was Balboa, Panama. This place was pretty cool. The best part was that you could rent a taxi drivier for $10-15 a day. The first da we made a tour of the town. The yacht club looked like it would have been a lot of fun if we’d been there during prime time. Great little bungalow with a cool view of the channel heading towards the canal. For dinner I went to a steakhouse named Juan Figerro (I think). Awesome steak for 10 bucks. That night we headed into town and hit up the casinos. A lot of fun playing min. bets and soaking up free booze. The second day we charted a boat that took us out to a cool little island with a small fishing village. I wish I could remember the name of the place but it was perfect, no tourists, nice white sand beach (complete with beach fleas as I discovered the next day). Great relaxing day.
After that it was down to Valparaiso. It was pretty eiry how much Chile was like California. Everything from the landscape to the people. There’s a touristy area North of the town called Vina del Mar. Pretty lame I thought. There was two great steakhouses there, Tit y Tat and one across the street that I can’t remember the name of. Tit y Tat, $15 Filet Mignon and a local Bach ale… can’t wait to get back to that. As for the area around the port… The seaman’s center I guess shut down a year ago. Pretty much anyone that walked around by themselves or even if it was one guy and one girl got jumped. However, there was some fun bars around there. Bella Vista Ave. is the way to go. There’s an Irish pub named El Irelendes which had about 100+ various imported and local (very good local) beers. Second day I went hiking in a park which pretty much was southern california in the southern hemisphere.
Guayaquil, Ecuador was a shit hole. No other way to say it. In all the other ports I tried to go around and experience the towns until dinner time before finding a cozy bar. Well in ecuador there isn’t anything else to do. There was a mall (compound) area called Malecon 200 which was alright. Right next to it was a hill with a stair case up to the top. Along the stair case there was a bunch of small bars with views of the city and river. Probably the coolest setting for a bar scene I’ve seen in awhile. Throw into that the Ecuador’s victory over Argentina in a World Cup qualifier and that was a fun day. The second day we visisted the Ecuador Maritime Academy. It was really cool to hang out with our international equivalents for a day. I’m really glad that I had that oppurtunity.
Puerto Vallarta sucked. It was too touristy and too expensive. American prices hurt after two months of dollar beers. Then on top of that we had to leave a day early since a hurricane was coming into town. I did heere that there was ATV tequilla tasting that people had fun with. Sounds like the best bad idea I’ve heard in a long time. Good thing I have a second cruise to try it out. I’ve got my nice four days off and then this Sat. we’re taking back off again.