We have also taken a day trip into the mountains outside of Cuenca to explore the little villages that all have a different specialty that they make. We stopped at San Bartholome, where guitars are crafted. Then we cruised over to Sigsig, where they make panama hats and purses at a religious coop. It is also the home of the largest panama hat in the world as recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records. We were able to do some shopping and some negotiating of prices, too. Valerie got three purses and I got a purse and a hat, which I am getting lots of use out of. We also explored a lovely park that was by a river. These are pictures of the park.
By now it is lunch time and we were planning a lunch at a hotel in Sigsig. This is a new hotel, recently built, lots of glass and chrome, delicious meal and to finish off, we were served warm zhumir. This is a tradition Ecuadorian drink that is served after a nice meal, it is very similar to a liquor, low alcohol content but sweet and good. Following lunch we pushed on to Chordeleg, where they craft silver jewelry. The town sits on a charming square and just about every other shop is a silver jewelry store. Valerie got a lovely three piece ensemble for her mother for Mother's Day. Our expedition to this town was completed when the heavens opened up and a thunderstorm of gargantuan proportions deposited lots of rain on us and the town. We took sanctuary in a local church while we watched it rain. After is settled down we ran to the car to continue our adventure. Last stop of the day was in Gualceo, where they build furniture. Although we did not get into any stores because everything was closed. We plan to go back on another day.
We have also become permanent citizens of Ecuador since our last blog. Both the censo and the cedula has been recorded and we are LEGAL. That means that our house hold goods have been shipped and can enter the country duty free. However, we were aware that we were over capacity in our 20 cu. ft. container, so we had prepared a list of things that could be left off. So my sofas (2) and 6 dining chairs where the most critical things that did not make it on. So now we are in the midst of planning to have furniture made. Probably in Gualceo, the furniture town. We will go back with a friend that speaks Spanish when it is time to design and order furniture.
Finally, we have moved to our permanent condo. Even though it was a simple move, you know moves. Routines are interrupted, electronic equipment has to be reinstalled, new hookups are necessary for everything and then of course, we are camping out with minimal kitchen gear and plastic chairs. We do have a bed, the nightstands are suitcases turned upside down. But, we are ready to receive our stuff around early May. That is when it is projected to arrive from the U. S. In closing we are putting some miscellaneous photos that have come Bill's way since the last time we posted a blog. Enjoy!
All for now, Dean and Bill
Preview of coming blogs:
Last weekend Cuenca celebrated the founding of the city. Monday was a holiday. However leading up to Monday the weekend was filled with art shows, crafts, parades, concerts and lots of enjoying life. We, of course, participated and will share those photos on the next blog.
Pictures of Cuenca out of our Window