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!


  1. Gary,

    I really enjoyed this post. I have got to have you come by and show me how you get those photos on the actual post. You have a lovely apartment. I can't recall if you said the condo was furnished or not, but either you or the landlord has very good taste. Man, did you lose the weight! You are the champion! You certainly have increased your walking speed and distance as well.

    I am just getting over a cold, so I haven't been out of the apartment except to get milk once across the street, and to visit Coral one afternoon. Now the fun begins for me with this Wednesday's dinner, next Wednesday's large dinner buffet party, Carnival in between, and my brother and his wife coming to visit from the 27th through March 11th. After all that is out of the way, maybe you'll be ready to join me for a walk to El Centro some afternoon. Take care, and keep up the good work with the blog. See you Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. Jim Mola

  2. Gary,
    My wife and I are considering a move to Ecuador. Any advise for those of us in the considering mode? I've never been to South America, but I have spent time in Korea, China, and the Federated States of Micronesia. We are using Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish. Is English common there or is Spanish really important?

  3. Gary - How are you doing with your weight 2 1/2 years later. Seems like this town can be a "guaranteed weight loss program" if you can walk a lot and take the taxis only when you need to.