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Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
We are from Connecticut originally and have most recently lived in North Carolina, USA. We are starting a new life in South America so our retirement $'s will go farther toward a new way of life and a new adventure.Prior to June of 2010 we never thought a move such as this would be possible or advantageous for us. And, that is why we call this blog "Retirement: Plan B" We intend to see and do as much as possible in our retirement. Spend quality time with family, friends and each other.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We have been doing more walking the last couple of weeks just trying to get a little exercise and enjoy the city. Sometimes we come across the unexpected and other times we spot things we hadn’t noticed previously. I think this is probably true of a lot of people and not just the expats. Cuenca isn’t a large city, as cities go, but there is a lot here and it is hard to take it all in. Walking is the best way because of the slow pace and the possibility of just stopping to see what is around us. This blog is mostly pictures for the above reasons. 

 There are always new flowers and plants. Not being a plant guy these are almost always new to me. I guess there is now time to stop and smell the roses.

The ladies with the unique hats are (I believe) from Peru, they are in Cuenca for the 12 of April holiday which celebrates the founding of Cuenca. They are here to sell at the market set up on Avenida 12th of April  across the street from the Otorongo Plaza. They are waiting for the rain to stop so they can set up there stall.

At the Otorongo Plaza there is a coffee shop that is very nice. The owner speaks English very well after spending time in the United States. His name is Simone and he is a restaurateur and a jewelry maker and designer. He also teaches jewelry making. He has  some of his work on display in the restaurant
The staff is friendly; the restaurant is attractive and comfortable with outside seating. The coffee is very good and they do something that is unique in Cuenca… they give free refills.

I don’t know if it was nap time or if the alcohol kicked in but the bike is standing and the rider is not.

There is a set of 91 steps at the Otorongo Plaza that lead up to El Centro (the old part of town). Mick decided he wanted to see how hard it was to climb them.


On our way back from El Centro, we walked along the river and I snapped a couple of pictures of the buildings. They are old and some need repair but seeing them is still pretty cool.

We heard of a new pizza restaurant recently. Fabiano’s on Presidente Cordova 4-48 near Mariano Cueva.  We were told the owners had spent a lot of time in Connecticut and so we felt we needed to find out if the pies were anything like we knew from the old days.
The pizza was delicious and the husband and wife, Fabian and Jackie, are very friendly and personable people. The restaurant is very nice and they are open from noon to 8pm everyday but Sunday. If you’re in town you might want to hurry over while they are running a special of a large pizza with 3 toppings for $10.

We will be doing more walking in the future and there will be more pictures but to close I thought I would put one more in and see if anyone knows where it was taken.

Hasta Pronto 
Dale and Joan

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Yes, I know I have been gone from blogging for much too long. It has been a very bad wcase of procrastination that has kept me away and a few people have been kind enough to ask “what happen to your blog”. I have been taking pictures with the intent of putting them out there for all to see but ….. Oh, well , I will try to do better and with a little luck I’ll remember what the pictures are of so I can pass that info on. I don’t think anyone should bet to heavily on my success.

As those who have read this blog before know I spend a good deal of time with my friend Mick at the “Coffee Tree” well sometimes you just don’t know who is going to be there.

One Sunday morning Mick, Kathy, Joan and I decided to go to the parque Calderon and have our coffee on a bench and just do some serious people watching. It was a nice day and we walked a little bit and I took a picture of some of the detail work on the New Cathedral. 


  In February we had a visit from our friends from Mooresville, NC, Harold and Joy Sharpe. They have decided to live at the beach in Crucita and have purchased a condo there. We had a good visit and although we didn’t get to do everything we would have liked to do on this visit we did get to show them some of Cuenca and to go with them to Vilcabamba and Loja Ecuador on a weekend trip. This picture of them is in the Panama hat museum here in Cuenca. Harold and Joy have said they will be spending some time in Cuenca when the weather is too hot at the coast. We look forward to seeing them again.

These are flowers we found on the grounds of a resort in Vilcabamba.

  We were able to celebrate our first Carnival this year. The tradition for Carnival in Ecuador is to throw water and to spray foam on people. We decided we too would get in the act. We were invited to Garth and Orilla Bogart’s home for dinner and being the immature people that we can be sometimes we decided that since the dinner theme was Carnival we would blast with foam whoever was unfortunate enough to open the door. Garth was the unlucky one. He was a terrific sport about it and was able to get in a little spraying of his own.

These are a few pictures from a parade in Giron, Ecuador. It is a small town not far from Cuenca.

 . We took a weekend trip with Mick and Kathy Wesson this week to Riobamba and Banos. We got to see some beautiful scenery and had a nice time. Banos was crowded because it is a tourist town and we did a little people watching and a little walking around. We found a tour company selling maps showing where to go to view the volcano Tangurahua, which is still active. When we got to the area we found we had a pretty steep hill to climb to get to where we could actually see the volcano. Kathy, Joan and I (and the Wesson’s poodle), Nicholas huffed and puffed and we made it to the top of the hill and got to see Tangurahua even though it was a bit cloudy.

  When I turned to start back down the hill I saw a man that looked remarkably like the President of Ecuador, Raphael Correa. I quickly dismissed that idea because he was only a few feet away and not surrounded by a flock of body guards. A moment later I noticed one of the men nearby had an ear piece such as you would see a secret service man wear in the movies and I knew this really was the president.

  Kathy was the first of us to start down the hill and she was near the president when she slipped and fell. She got back to her feet by herself but the president insisted he would help her and took her by the arm and they made their way down the hill together. Joan and I were behind them but not close enough to hear their conversation. When we got to the bottom of the hill the president had assured Kathy he was really “El Presidente”.

  He was very friendly and amiable and approachable. He talked with us a little and posed for pictures.

So we have had some fun and seen quite a bit since my last post. I will try not to let it take as long to post in the future.

Hasta pronto.
Dale and Joan