Sunday, July 4, 2010


We left Quito on Saturday morning. I have photos of the car, but I cant load them onto this net book I am using so you will have to imagine it. A Tuscon, with two suitcases in the back and 3 tied, covered and netted for safety! Off we went across the country side. If you look at a map of Ecuador and measure from Quito to Cuenca you can see the miles are long, what you cant see is the extreme highs and lows, and round and round mountains you will go!

The variety of towns, people and homes was really interesting to me, as we were interesting to the people we saw. Our driver Luis was very nice, and patient, as he spoke NO english except OK! We did some incredible pantomime and arm waving, most of the time when we came through with good enough spanish he really seemed proud of us. Luis stopped at a town know for its Helado... Icecream.. Oh yeah, so we pulled up to a stalled he yelled through the window what he wanted and she handed it to us. Oh joy, hard fruta icecream on a stick.. .very good.

I was very proud that I remembered to take my tissues with me when we stopped at a gas station. There was a place for the TP but it was empty. So yeah for me, I am learning to be prepared. Also I have no forgotten to throw the tissues in the garbage and not the toilet yet... I know, that is one thing that is an adjustment, but not really an inconvinence!

We pulled into a town to eat almuerzo (lunch) and they were having a fiesta. Streets were closed and traffic was blocked, Luis was getting more and more tangled in the city as he asked people how to get out of town. Then a huge truck stopped in the middle of the one lane road..four cars piled up behind us, all honking their horns and Luis pleading with the driver to move, pointing to the cars behind us. When they finally did move they were all smiles and no one seemed upset. Randy says he loved this part. Neither of us got upset, we were just having fun! So finally we were off to the next town.

The almuerza was really good. $2.00 ~ Huge bowl of soup with potatoes, beef. Then a nice oblong plate filled to overflowing with rice, beans, cooked veggies and a chicken thigh and fresh juice. We each had the same. So $6 for it all.

We arrived in Cuenca about 4 oclock. Traffic was horrendous, and our driver much to our dismay asked us where to go! OH no! I had asked at the hotel if the driver knew of the hotel and he assured me that he did.
So we began using our memory, calls to our friends Chuck & Nancy Watson, locals info and the blue church to get us into the approxomate area. When we did finally find it we had to make 3 trips around the block so the hotel staff could run out and hold a space open for us to park. They were awesome, they hauled all those heavy suitcases up to our room on the second floor. wheew! Glad I didnt have to!. Our driver Luis was happy to say goodby as he had to turn around and drive back to Quito, Sunday he had a tour to Otovollo scheduled for his trusty Tucson.!

We took a taxi to Nancy & Chucks, and then after awhile we taxied back to our hotel for a late (by US standards..7:30) dinner. It was a successful Saturday.

This is Sunday, we walked to the Parque Calderdon and did some people watching. Randy found that his leg tattoos and Cigar smoking were too much of an oddity, and he did not like being watched, so out went the Cigar. I think they are just going to have to get used to his tattoos, he does like his shorts!

We had a pleasant surprise when several "gringos" came up and introduced themselves. I guess our friend has posted that we are here with our photos. So we now have met 3 couples, and a dutch gentleman.

We are so happy to be here, tomorrow is our banking day and hopefully with catch up with our future landlords, as they offered to give us a tour. I love the hospitality of this place!


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  2. BIENVENIDO!!! We look forward to meeting you both. Enjoy settling in your apartment. We have to get together sometime. Our e-mail is (somehow I accidentally hit the delete button on my last comment!). Go I can't read English!

  3. Randy needs a tattoo that says (in Spanish) "Stop staring at my legs!"

  4. Hello Randy and Karen,

    This email is to introduce ourselves. We are Mike and Pat Grimm from Arizona. We are moving to Cuenca in August. (Our flight from Los Angeles is on August 3rd.) Please see our blog at

    We have really enjoyed reading your blog and have found it to be very educational. It's good to know that all of the preparation, the hard work, and the emotions are pretty normal when you're experiencing a major lifestyle change. We're looking forward to meeting you in due time. We're also looking forward to getting healthier, to walking a lot and to eating fresh food, and to living more economically than in the U.S.

    Until we meet,

    Mike and Pat Grimm