Monday, September 26, 2011

New Friends and Saturdays

As stated repeatedly, Mick and I have met some wonderful people as a result of our blog. Many of them have begun correspondence regarding pets, questions about transporting, food, etc. Once again, this is the case. Several months ago, I received an email from someone in Portland, about documentation of her dog, Zoe Mae. There have been a number since then. This person was Ketzel Levine, who we finally met on Friday.

If the name may sound vaguely familiar, Ketzel was a correspondent on NPR many years. Post NPR, she came to Cuenca last year to study Spanish. While in Cuenca, she became aquainted with an organization called ARCA, an organization for the protection of animals. Recently, she has returned to make a project that she conceived a reality.

Ketzel plans to act as a "foster mom" for dogs that she selects from ARCA. She will work with the dogs, give basic training, and adopt them to gringo families. This is such an admirable aspiration. Because they have no voice, these little guys need someone to speak for them. ARCA also needs volunteers to assist with doggy walks. I have added Ketzel and Zoe Mae's blog, "The Heart of Barkness" to our bloglist. If you're interested in Ketzel's cause, you can contact her through her blog or us. Here are Ketzel and her friend, Gary.

Dale, Joan, Mick, Ketzel, and Gary

Saturday morning, we were out and about downtown and had to stop for a parade. You never know when you're going to encounter one. This one was sponsored by the association for disabled persons.
We see this guy all over town with his little herd of goats. He sells the milk by the cup. How fresh is that? We then made a stop at the Coffee Tree. It's always interesting on Saturday morning. Across the street from the Tree is a garage with an apartment above. A taxi driver lives there. It is not uncommon to spot his wife, perusing the street below from her window.
There's always the congregation of the elderly waiting for their bread ticket at La Merced. They begin gathering early in the morning. The tickets are distributed at 11AM.

And you might run into an old friend as well.

Until next time,

Mick and Kathy

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cuenca Views

We've been enjoying the company of our friends from Baltimore, Larry and Jeannie, for the past couple of weeks. Tuesday night, they hosted a farewell dinner at El JardinDale and Joan were there.
A group picture at the Coffee Tree We dropped them off on Tuesday at the airport. They hope to be back in 6 months.

This afternoon was better than most that we'ved had recently; so we spent some time on the terrace. Here's our mandarin orange tree.
This is the lemon tree that Hank and Sherry gave Mick for his birthday.
It's loaded with blooms.
Mick has a couple of tomato plants, US variety.
There are lots of small tomatoes.
This is our new triple stand with fresh plants. The fern was given to us last year by Shelly and Dorie; it's thriving.
The gardenias are blooming.

The basket stand has new plants.

Nikolas is sporting a new haircut.

It was laundry day at the Yanuncay.

One of the hummers came for a drink.

To the right of the terrace is Turi.

Our view of the Cathedral.

To the left and back of the terrace.

Although we have magnificent views, we decided to go up to the roof for a peek. This is our terrace from above.

More views from the roof.

Primero de Mayo

The riverwalk

The autopista with Edificio Vista Linda towering by it.

Mall del Rio

Until next time,
Mick and Kathy

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Accommodations in Cuenca

Quite frequently we’re contacted for recommendations on places to stay. Although there are no chain hotels, Cuenca is packed with places to stay; however, if you look at Orbitz or some of the other travel sites, you find only a handful. I decided that it would be a good thing to make a list of some of the places that we have heard of or had recommendations on. We’ve never stayed at any of these places; however, they’ve been recommended. Just remember that everyone has different tastes. I have included no hostals, in that dozens of the traditional hostals can be found on the Lonely Planet site.

Some of the gringoes have apartments that they rent. Rich and Nancy have several properties and our friends were quite comfortable there. The links are: Rich's and Nancy's Rentals

Chuck and Nancy also have a rental:

Tom and Monica have a penthouse on Mariscal Lamar near Las Americas. For information, contact Monica at: ; she will direct you as to where you can see photos.

There are several others that will have rentals in the near future.

Cuenca has a multitude of hotels, in all price ranges. We’ve never stayed at any of these, but know folks that have. If you’re planning a trip here, perhaps this will assist you. I’ve included phone numbers and websites where available.


Mansion Alcazar
Bolívar 12-55 y Tarqui, Tel: 593 7 2 823889

Hotel Santa Lucia
Borrero 8-44 y Sucre

Hotel Carvallo
Gran Colombia 9-52

Hotel Victoria
Calle Larga y Borrero

Hotel Crespo
Calle Larga y Borrero

Hotel Cuenca
Borrero 10-69 y Lamar

Kookaburra Accommodations and Café
Calle Larga between Padre Aguirre y Benigno Malo

Hotel El Dorado
Gran Colombia 7-87 y Luis Cordero

Casa Ordonez
8-59 Mariscal Lama
8-59 Mariscal Lamar

Casa del Aguirre
Sucre 13-56 entre Juan Montalvo y Esteves de Toral
Phones: (593) 72836498 - (593) 72849580

Villa Nova Inn
Tres de Noviembre

La Casona
Miguel Cordero 2-124 y Alfonso Cordero esquina

La Villa del Rio
Av Paucarbamba 1-118 y José Peralta
Teléfono : 593-7-4103026

These are just a few of the places available in Cuenca. Hopefully, this will help in planning your trip to Cuenca. Enjoy your planning and your visit.

Until next time,
Mick and Kathy

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Out and About

It's been a busy week and it's still in progress. Some of us finished weaving projects.
The other afternoon, Joan called and said "let's try Papa John's tonight. We rarely ate Papa John's in Charlotte; therefore, we were not so anxious to try it here. Papa John's opened several months ago at Millenium Plaza.

It's a sit-restaurant, with additional outside seating (weather permitting), as well as take out and home delivery. We had the New York, New York and it was yummers, as were the breadsticks. This is definitely a keeper.

Yesterday, I skipped weaving. Mick ran in Supermaxi at El Vergel while Nikolas and I stayed in the car. The security guard, or as it's pronounced in the South "scyurty", was interesting as usual. Parking lots are controlled by security guards. At El Vergel, they don't even open the parking lot until Supermaxi is open. They tell you where to park and when to park. They are ready for business and anything else that happens as they are armed. In the case of El Vergel, they carry night sticks. Most of the security carry guns.

Thursday afternoon, we went to a matinee at Mall del Rio. The popcorn was as good, however, the tickets are a few cents more. Wednesday is 2 for 1. It cost $4.50 for the two of us to see the movie. Two giant sodas, a giant popcorn, and two hotdogs were $10.80. The movie we saw was "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes." It was just OK. But remember, the popcorn was great.

When we came out, this tiny truck was parked near us. Joan and I thought we'd try it out.

This morning, we were out and about and stopped at Gourmand for coffee. Silvia's coffee is always good.

It's almost the weekend.

Until next time,

Mick and Kathy

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Do You Celebrate Your Birthday in Cuenca?

How do you celebrate your birthday in Cuenca? You celebrate with your friends. Mick had his 62nd birthday party at the California Kitchen with our friends. Carol and Susie prepared Mick's favorite meal, spaghetti bolognese, which was delicious. Below, Pat and Joan are chatting, with Sherry and Sue in the background.

Chris and Mick
Joan and Sue
Just the guys, Dale, Randy, Pat, and Larry

Segundo is always there to help.

Karen, Chuck, Linda, Jenny, Karen, and Larry

Jeannie, Larry, and Nancy

Gabriella, Carlos, and Mick

Andres and Veronica

Patricia and Andres


Hank and Sherry

Tom and Karen

Dale and Joan

Larry and Karen

Chris and Larry

Linda and Jenny

Sue, Larry, and Jeannie

Chuck and Nancy


Randy and Karen


The Birthday Boy

Mick, Larry, and Pat

The ice cream cake from Monte Bianca. Because I didn't order in time, there were actually four small cakes.

Carol working with the candles.

George assisting with the task.

Blowing out the candles.

Mick sporting the traditional hat.

The Barrera family gave Mick a Panama hat.

Mick in his new hat.

Mick had a wonderful birthday! The California Kitchen was the perfect place to spend an evening with our great friends! How fortunate we are! Thanks so much to all of you.

Until next time,

Mick and Kathy