We are getting very comfortable with venturing out, to take a taxi to anywhere, buy bread at the panaderia, explore the city on foot and then buy what we need along the way and return via a taxi, bus, or on foot.
Yesterday we ventured out to find the English bookstore. CAROLINA, turns out it is run by a couple Carolina and Lee, former teachers. We traded in some books that I had read and bought some others with our credit. Also found a wonderful pound of coffee at the bookstore that is grown here in the mountains of Ecuador. The package of coffee was $4.00/lb.
A bargain, which you coffee drinkers will recognize. Ecuador is supposed to produce wonderful coffee so we will report when we have had some of it.
The second item on our agenda yesterday was to visit an art sale of local artists that was being held at a restaurant downtown. On the way between Carolina's Bookstore and the restaurant where the art exhibit was we encountered a lovely little Panaderia.
Because they put no preservative/additives in the baked goods, you only buy for a day or two at a time. So I went in to purchase rolls. In addition, I found these lovely little round chocolate delights that seemed to be a cross between a cake and a trifle covered in chocolate and decorated with whipped cream. I bought one for each of us. It was very good, but way too sweet for me.
But, Bill thought they were so wonderful that he needed a stock. So he returned to buy 10 of them which she packed in a turtle top styrofoam box, and he ate like a little pig for the rest of the day.
Following the chocolate connection we headed for the restaurant where the art exhibit was. We were ready for lunch by then and as you can see by the photos attached we had lunch. In addition, 3 university students asked us in English if we would take their survey, it was about tourists in Cuenca, which of course we are not, but they seemed to get a kick out of us anyway.
The day before yesterday we took photos of our supermarket, the SUPERMAXI, yes I said the supermaxi.
We love the name. It is within walking distance of our apartment and just a few doors from the video store where you can buy any movie title on earth for $1.50. We bought $9.00 worth and headed home for a movie marathon. This vendor is so good, if it will not work in your DVD machine he will give you your money back. Or try to burn it again for you.
Today is Valentine's Day, but also the first day of Carnival which runs through Tuesday, since Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the start of lent. We had lots of wonderful music from a local band we could hear in our apartment last night. Lots of children on the streets throwing water balloons at passersby. The taxi drivers yesterday were very careful to tell us to roll up the windows or we were going to get WET!! We have been watching the 4 siblings we can see out our rear window throwing balloons at passersby for about a week now. I think they started early.
We have had a glitch with the Ecudorian Counsulate in LA who gave us some bad information related to our official documentation process, so we are regrouping with lawyers, Ecuadorina friends with connections, friends in the states who are trying to help us and maybe by Wednesday the American Embassy in Guayaquil. So we will keep you updated as the saga unfolds. Everyone needs a challenge in life, so this is ours at the moment. We also think we have found an apartment to rent for a long term period of time, but because everything in the city has come to a halt for CARNIVAL, that will have to wait until Wednesday, too. All for now,
Dean and Bill
PS Here are a few pics of Calderon Park. the main park in the center of the historic district.
a comfy cat