Sunday, October 28, 2012


"Isn't that the most gorgeous bike you have every seen?" These were the words out of Randys mouth, as we stood in front of the new Royal Enfield shop, waiting for them to open so he could go in and get a REAL good look at the bike. I knew it was over before it had begun..

When Randy and I were first married (10 yrs ago this month!), we each had our own salaries and split the bills according to our separate incomes, Randy's being a larger part of the whole. Worked great for me! No one telling me how to spend the extra money, and no guilt when I spent every extra dime on something I really really wanted or thought the kids really really wanted. Fast forward to now.

Essentially, I am now living off of Randy's good sense to have a pretax account all those working years, so we could drop out of the rat race "early" and "retire" to a country where our money goes further and the lifestyle is one we really enjoy. So, does Randy "get" to buy the bike.. well of course he does.

In Ecuador the saying Buyer Beware is a very real statement, and one that we as expats are just now coming to understand.

There are no Lemon Laws here. If you use the services provided and under the warranty there is nothing else they can do to "fix" the problem, well, its just your problem.

Randy loves this motorcycle. It ran well for about a week. Then he started noticing that is did not run well. After some major time in a shop it started to work well again. The weather was bad, so it sat around until one day "The boys" wanted to go up to the CAJAS  to try out  one of their new motorcycles at high altitude (13K ft elevation).  That is when it all went wrong very fast.

As they were returning the bike started to surge..not good when you are trying to go downhill around sharp curves. The only way it would not surge is in neutral. Randy managed to wrangle it down the hill without killing himself or others in the process.

Of course I am not emotionally attached to the bike.. my first thought was, well if we cannot go over the Cajas or Andes what use is it to us. We wanted to buy a side car and go traveling... lets take it to Guayaquil (sea level). Get it running properly.. and SELL IT! Vehicles and motorcycles do not loose their vaule here. So it was the fix I saw as perfect. Randy had other thoughts.

Randy has a great relationship with the shop owners and they have been trying to help him as much as they can. Whats odd is that the thought that they needed a Royal Enfield trained shop was not in the plan. They just sub'ed out the warranty work to a Yamaha dealer here in Cuenca.

Due to not having trained RE folks here, both Randy and Sebastian have researched the issues and found out that this model (which comes from India) is also having problems in India when they try to take it up into the Himilayas. So a "work around" is in the works. But we do not know how long it will be before those technicians can find the fix. Our guy Sebastian at the Royal Enfield is hoping soon, so his business does not plummet.

The bike has been back to the shop and the surging was solved with some minor tweaking, but the backfiring and inability to really ride in stop and go traffic is still an issue.

Our man Sebastian says a technician from India is coming in November, and Randys motorcycle will be one of those presented to the technician to find out why his runs so badly.

Until then, It sits. Randy still rides the scooter, and enjoys that. I have decided that I really do not like riding my scooter, as I am not a totally vigilant rider, and in this country you have to have your head on a swivel constantly. So until we get the motorcycle fixed, Randy rides alone.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I have no clue what to call this blog. I keep thinking I should find something very clever to say. But alas.. nothing is coming to mind.

I don't really even have a topic. Do you want to hear about my weaving or knitting.. nope. Randy's current passion of watching every episode of Wagon Train with a little Rawhide mixed in? No? Should I go on and on about my daughter's upcoming nupitals?  Hmm.. OK, well let me tell you of the..No, I already told you about that.

OK, let me be honest. Where ever you live you have day to day things that you do. That's about all we have done!

Sometimes I feel like a blog resolves itself into one of those crazy Christmas letters that you get that tells you all about someones job, their kids education achievements and on and on about the grandchildren. I'll try not to do that.

We have met a ton of new folks coming to Cuenca. I never can remember their names because I only see them for a few scant seconds.. then months later its .. oh hi, I am sorry, I have forgotten your name. A lady here always introduces herself. I was very happy the first 7 times. Now I remember her! She says she always does that to let anyone off the hook.  Great idea.

Our weather is good, getting warmer. We are looking forward to maybe a trip to Banos Ambato with friends... hmmm. what else..

We are happy, healthy and enjoying our life here. We are safe and somewhat sound. We are not being taken over by drug runners, nor engulfed in a tsunami or a lava flow from a volcano. We are not even getting any rumblings of earthquakes.

I will catch you up on all the continuing excitement next month; I bet you can't wait!