Thursday, July 29, 2010

STREET MAPS AND BUS ROUTES IN CUENCA

I am sorry to say, this will be another blog without photos. I am very reluctant to wander with my camera, and also I am very forgetful to bring it... so between the two, I have no photos of the following events.

We have been struggling with trying to find out way around from our new apartment. We are just enough in the "burbs" and just enough off the beaten path that a bus stop is not right out the door like it is in the center of town. The other day we hiked up Premiro De Mayo to the Avenida De Las Americas and finally caught a bus heading we hoped in the direction of the Super Maxi that we were familliar with... well the bus did a pretty good job but then it turned off and started down a highway off  ramp. We leaped to our feet and smashed the little red button... the drivers are supposed to only stop at the designated stops but thankfully most will stop on a dime if they can, and he did, right at the entrance to the highway... I dont think the other bus behind him appreciated it, but we were all smiles and I am sure the other passengers were shaking their heads at us silly gringos.

We finally made it to the market and did some major shopping, but took a taxi back. We still dont know the correct bus to take to make it all the way up Avenidas Las Americas... I dont think it was that bus 17 or was it 22... see.. I never have a pen to write the information down, and between Randys memory and mine we are probably lucky we even can make it back home! Oh thats right, we have a card with our address on it, so we wont get lost!

Randy and his new BFF Clarke went on an motorcycle expedition. Both have the bug, but Randy has agreed that he will not get one until he is SURE that he does not have to have his CEDULA yet... We should have them soon, as our attorney has assured us she has submitted the paperwork and it is in "the works"..I will leave that to your imagination on a time frame.

When Randy and Clarke returned from their trip, Randy had a wonderful little city street map. It shows all the musuems, cathedrals and tells a bit about the city and its history... all in English... bonus! As a side bar here. I am totally trying to learn Spanish, I am determined to nail it down... but sometimes its so nice to catch a break.

Today we were determined to find a great bus that would take us to El Centro. We had seen a bus yesterday that stopped just up the street so we headed for that area, plopped ourselves on a concrete wall and proceded to wait... not long a bus #7 came by that said Fiera Libre and Mall Del Rio on it...those are two areas we are familliar with so we hopped on. We were happy to note during the rided that the bus also would stop right across the street from our Bank, and a easy walk to our friends house up on Luis Cordero.  As the bus continued we got the whole city tour. We were in the industrial part of town all the way up into the hills.  At one point the driver told us Final... or in English "the bus stops here..." He pointed to another bus and we got on it..another #7. The drivers were finishing up a snack at the local lunch (almuerza) stand but soon our driver arrived. It was very interesting that he would not let us swipe our cards until he got to his first stop, a short ways down the hill...(so we kinda got a free ride..?) We enjoyed the ride back down the way we came, but I think this one did less of the industrial area of town. I dont think all #7 buses are the same...When the bus got to Mall Del Rio we decided a quick lunch was in order so we hopped off, ate lunch and shopped a bit at the Corral. So now we know that if we cross the street going the other direction and pick up a #7 that says Mall Del Rio on it, we can get there much quicker than the two hour bus tour we took for .50.

I have to tell you that our shopping experience was rather interesting. We looked at TV's, DVD players, and food steamers. The steamers we have seen seem to be very expensive and hard to find, so we continue to hunt. As we came up to the cashier she rattled off something in Spanish, Randy smiled and says... No Entinendo... "I dont understand", she smiled and then asked for "numero" We determined that she wanted our passport number. I am not sure if you have to have this because of the taxes, but most of the time we have to show this when we purchase items. We carry color copies of the ID page of the passport with us and this is always sufficient. We ended up only buying two bottles of  pump hand soap, fabric softer for the washer, 2 bottles of wine, 2 bottles of rum and 2 test size packages of crackers. We decided we had eaten enough at lunch that a big shopping spree was not in order. We will wait for another day.  We decided a taxi ride home was in order, and 1.50 later we were at our door. Home Sweet Home.

1 comment:

  1. I have lived in Quito for over 16 years, I am happy to help with any questions you might have about the country. Patrick- bullock0005@yahoo.com

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