The hands of William Mann, an American aboard one of the two-story tour buses that run through Guayaquil, should hold a camera to photograph the city; but it’s not like that. They hold his head tilted towards the floor of the car, which rolls down the avenue 9 de Octubre, to protect himself from the thick branches of trees that the bus leaves on the road.
“This tour is very interesting, the city has very nice things, but the cables are very dangerous. At one point I thought I was going to lose my head, “says Mann.
EXPRESO made a tour that departed from Seminario park to the El Paraíso viewpoint, located in the Bellavista citadel, and another that started from the same point, but that runs along Benjamín Carrión avenue to the Terrestrial Terminal.
At the start, the approach of a traffic light, is warned by the tourist guide. “Be careful, we approach a traffic light,” he says in an affable tone of voice. The passengers, some foreigners and other nationals who visit Guayaquil from other provinces; after the signal they adopt a fetal posture, interrupting the enjoyment of the landscape view. That scene is repeated in several sections of the route, and leaves security in the hands of the ability of tourists to avoid the obstacles.
The travel guide, who requested the reservation of his name, says that these obstacles have already caused accidents of medium magnitude that, according to his assessment, could be serious. “Recently, to a lady a tree branch (on October 9) struck her in one eye, and she was newly operated on cataracts; the lady was enraged. And this has happened to some, “he says.
Solange Garcés, an expert in tourism, believes necessary to review the safety of tourists, “this should be a long-term work between companies and the authority,” he suggested.
The operations coordinator of one of the tourist transport services in the city, who requested the reservation of her name and her company, narrates the problem. “Along the route, we have overpasses, bridges, electric cables and tree branches; then it would be very risky if someone mistakenly gets up from the seat.”
To talk precisely about the risk involved in the tour of the city on two-floor buses, EXPRESO requested an interview with Gloria Gallardo, president of the Municipal Public Tourism Company. However, through an email he notified that he could not carry out the interview since it was dedicated to “the organization and planning of the official events of September”.
The coordinator of the tourism service also asked the Cabildo to prune trees more frequently, to avoid accidents. “With the cables, which are more dangerous, we already ask that we collaborate, but to date we have not received answers from CNEL.”
Likewise, Fredda Aguilar, spokesperson of the Ecuadorian Electric Corporation (CNEL), indicated that the site effectively “identified 3 connections of meters at a low level, which will be raised in coordination with the owners. In the coming days there will be a tour “. (I)