Well, this Rocky moment certainly didn’t occur in a bout of heavyweight boxing. But I did feel like a (rather distant) cousin of Rocky Balboa each morning in Guayaquil when I went jogging up the steps to the lighthouse to enjoy the views over Ecuador’s largest city.

Do you remember the original movie’s opening scene where Rocky sprints up the steps of Philadelphia’s Museum of Art?

I was a slightly more exhausted version in this tropical city. How else does one start dawn off right, if not by sprinting up the 444 steps that wound their way up to this panoramic point?

You may be wondering how I knew the exact number of stairs to the top. No, I can assure you I did not count (too much effort on my addled brain). The stair numbers werehelpfully marked to make my job easy.

Only 12 more to go!

This was a bit of torture each morning, as I would think “Oh, no! How am I only at 200?”

But my ego wasn’t too bruised. My jogging time coincided with that of the Ecuadoran Army and Navy, and they were battling it up the stairs at the same time I was – and often with the same difficulty.

But as often happens with jogging, once the hard work is done, it’s all worth it. It was a great start to my day to enjoy views from the lighthouse.

From the top of the lighthouse.

From there, you could see the wide Guayas River that winds into the Pacific Ocean and the colorful neighborhoods of Santa Ana and Las Peñas.