Friday, February 24, 2012

Road trip from Cuenca, Ecuador to Bullcay and Chordeleg in search of weavers

In search of Ecuadorian weavers and pottery makers we drove to the small Village of Bullcay about 20 kilometers east of Cuenca.

And just on the left of the highway in Bullcay we found a pottery shop next to a very old weaving factory.

We found many beautiful hand made pottery pieces.

And next door we went up some old stairs to a weaving room and shop.

Here we found women weaving scarfs and shawls.  A tourist bus pulled up outside when we arrived and the tourists were buying up all the merchandise, we could not even get into the store.

The following photos are typical Ecuadorian weavers.

Beautiful colors and designs

And next we drove to the Village of Chordeleg, where we found shops full of jewelry.

Chordeleg Cathedral

And now that everyone was hungry we drove back down the highway to Gualaceo to the Central Mercado for some lunch of roasted pork!

This is Sunday and as usual the Mercado in full of families having lunch. There are a dozen concessions displaying whole roasted pigs. As you walk by the ladies offer you samples plucked from their delicious roasted pigs with their bare hands! (What no plastic gloves?) And we walk with caution on the greasy floors!

Jessica, Mayra and the kids enjoying lunch.

And down the stairs with caution and past the roasted Ginnie pigs!

Back to Cuenca past some more beautiful countryside.

And the end of another beautiful day in Ecuador!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

At last! Cuenca, Ecuador

Just one more week and I will be on my way to Cuenca! It has been a year and a half of planning. Internet searching, papers notarized and apostatized. And the last step, a trip to the Ecuador Consulate in Beverly Hills. Also the hours I spent on-line looking for an Airline ticket without 13 hour layovers and for a decent price.

During the last few months of reading Blogs from other Americans that have made the move I was fortunate enough to make a couple of e-mail friends who live in Cuenca and have many of my questions answered.

I will be leaving behind a great house here in the California Mountains owned by my sister where I have been living for almost a year. Leaving now means leaving behind many snow storms to come. Such as the one I endured last year. Three feet of snow and no electricity for three days burr!

And memories of good times with family and friends:

 My sister Wanda, me and Sue at the beach in Ventura on Sue's visit from Iowa.

But I am looking forward to making new friends, have many new adventures and good times!

Well back to packing and cleaning for me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cuenca, Ecuador shopping and walking around the Tomebamba River

After living in Cuenca for two and a half months I still don't know my way around the city. Probably because I always take taxis or rely on Mayra to drive me. I guess I am really not in a rush to do anything anyway!

Its been nice to just sit back and let someone else do the driving. Especially considering how they drive here! Wow! But I still have not seen any accidents!

Rotary Market Place in El Centro

Lots of baskets, ceramic pots, furniture and art works.

And then on to San Francisco Market Place

We found that the vendors outside are quoting higher prices than the inside shops.

Lots of jewelry, pottery, and art work to look at, but I am still looking. Guess I really am not in a hurry.

And a walk through the Central Market

Then on to Coral to look for some pots for house plants.

I did find five large plastic pots for $8.00 each, so off we went to find a plant nursery.

After driving all over town and looking for plants at different nurseries we found this one up the street from my condo. Beautiful healthy plants and they transplanted them into my new pots  and hauled them down the street and up to my condo. Five large plants were $70.00 and $10.00 to move them for me.

Cuenca was named after Cuenca, Spain when it became a settlement of the  Spanish in 1557.
Prior to that Cuenca was called Tomebamba by the Canari Indians.

I live on the Tomebamba river and enjoy the sound of the river running down from the mountains, sometimes after a big rain the water rises high on the river banks and is much louder. Every morning I see many people walking around the trail by the river's edge and so now I have joined them in walks by the river and across a bridge, down the other side and back across another bridge. My first river walk took me 1 1/2 hours having to stop to catch my breath! Now I am doing it in 30 minutes and have also extended ny walks to Americas avenue and back.

Looking at the back side of my building I am 2 down from the top on the right side. The bedroom windows provide a great view of El Centro and the 2 balconies on the left are the kitchen and dining room.

Across the river I find people doing laundry in the river everyday as has been done for hundreds of years. The air here is very dry, humidity usually around 40% which makes everything dry very fast. 

More new construction

My new gym has really great equipment and I pay $3.00 for each visit. I have not combined my walks with a trip to the gym on the same day yet!

And home again, panting all the way to the elevators! I am thankful that the elevators also have generator power just in case the electricity goes out.

And here is a photo of me at 235 pounds in Rosarito, Mexico with my friend Dee a few months ago.

Is this really me? I have known Dee since 1992 and at 83 she still looks the same.

And the latest photo 40 pounds lighter:

Sue and I at the Banos hot springs

Well I better get going on my river walk, I still need to drop 20 pounds!

Next time road trip to Bullcay in search of weavers!