Monday, October 8, 2012

FYI, Looking for An Apartment

I was just told by our administrator that she has 3 apartments for rent in Cuatro Rios, 1ro de mayo y Las Americas, 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms, one with a terrace.  This is a beautiful new building.  For more info, contact Marcia at .

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Another Great Weekend

Regardless of where you are, if you're retired or work, the weekends are different.  There's just a different feel.  We always go out for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday; usually to the Coffee Tree on Saturday and San Sebas on Sunday.  Prior to going to the Coffee Tree on Saturday, I had an errand to take care of.  We were on Sucre, behind this truck that was packed.  It's not a good view but it was a small truck bed and there were 8 people in it.  Across the river, we've seen as many as 17 get out of a small truck.
Saturday afternoon, it was planned to warm up in Yunguilla.  It's a nice drive and there are some good restaurants.  We were going to Puerto Bolivar; however, it was packed.  Bambu was the second choice and it was excellent.  Sr. Larry got the lomo platter.
I had corvina? frita. Excellent choice.  The menestra was so delicious, I could have made a meal on simply that.
Sra. Karen and Don Mick had camarones apanada.  Excellent as well.
A happy and full group.
The grounds around Bambu, which is in La Union, are lovely.
There's also a nursery.

After we left Bambu, we went to El Jardin del Valle, a hosteria in La Union, which is quite lovely.  The gardens are splendid.
There are also several parrots.


Neither foliage nor a parrot

The most gorgeous hibiscus I've ever seen.
The pool
I wonder if our pregnant palm will ever look like this.
There are murals all around.
This is 3 for 1.
It was a lovely afternoon in the valley.  Yunguilla is warmer and dryer than Cuenca; it is at a lower elevation.  If you have nothing to do, it is worth the drive.  The terrain is different, crossing a couple of geological faults.  It's a nice way to spend the afternoon.
This afternoon Mick and I were sitting out on the terrace and the cloud patterns were extraordinary.  The layers of wind and cloud layers that are prevalent here have fascinated me from the beginning.  Notice the cirrus radiating from behind the cumulo-nimbus.  Later we had torrential rains.  The high today was 84.  Great temps!

Another great weekend!

Until next time,
Mick and Kathy

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life is especially good!

Life is especially good these days. We're busy doing the things that we enjoy and spending time with people whose company we enjoy.  Mick is well and after several months, his old self, again. Last week some folks returned for another visit in Cuenca before making a final decision on retirement. We picked up John and Robin at the airport.
We were getting low on coffee, which is a captial offense at our house, so I made my way to the coffee purveyor for a reload.  I passed by the seen of the fire a few weeks ago.  It is already being renovated.

We had several meals with John and Robin, including an evening at El Jardin.
This week, the Mickster has had a lot of energy.  Yesterday, he installed some much needed shelves in the laundry room.  Great job!  Lina's first comment when she saw them was "they're too tall for me."  Get a stool, as usual.
Lina's short, but she's pretty tall here.  She requires a stool or ladder for everything, including putting away the dishes.
Life is exceptionally good these days.  Sometimes things happen and we're not on our "A game"; however, it seems that everyday is a winner these days.  Even for Lina, she has a new mattress.

Until next time,
Mick and Kathy

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

So You're Moving to Cuenca

So you’re moving to Cuenca.  Where are you going to live?  Everyone is always concerned that there will be nothing left when they arrive.   There are lots of places for sale and rent, new, old, large, and small.  New buildings are under construction every day.
Continuously we’ve heard of people who purchase the first week of their arrival.  At this point, do you even know the sector that you want?  Relax and take your time.  Get to know the city.  Think about where you want to settle down   and exactly what you want.  Don’t be foolish and purchase a house on the internet, sight unseen; chances are you’ll be sorry.  A picture on line doesn’t show everything.  It reminds me of a hotel in Scotland that I booked on line once upon a time.  It was splendid and called the Grouse and Trout; Mick refers to it as the Mouse and Rat.  I’ve never lived it down; however, it was easily remedied, in that there was a Marriott a few miles away.

When considering a new home, be it a rental or purchase, of course, you want to consider location.  How accessible is it to the places you plan to frequent.  There are beautiful homes in Challuyabamba; but a cab ride is $6 or $7 each way.  Do you need ready access to a bus route?  Think transportation. 

Do you want a house or apartment?  There are advantages to both.  With an apartment, there is added security.  Most apartments don’t have terraces.  So you’ve got a feeling of living in a hotel.  If you have pets, many apartment buildings are no longer pet friendly.  Also, think about your pet and the size of your pet.  Remember you’re living in close proximity to other people, how pet friendly are they?  If you’ve got a large pet, how well received will it be by the neighbors.  Also, is your puppy going to be happy in an apartment?  Look at the whole picture from the pet and the neighbors’ viewpoint.  You don’t want grief from administration or neighbors as a new tenant.

If you’re considering an apartment, there are features to look for.  A generator is a great thing.  There are power issues many times.  Our building has a generator that is large enough to run everything.  Some buildings have generators that will only cover elevators and some lighting.  Do you want a doorman/guard?  We consider this a plus.  We have someone downstairs, 24/7.  These features will increase the price of your rent or aliquota. 

Perhaps you want to live in El Centro.  Living in El Centro may put you in the middle of social activities, but you must consider the negative aspects as well.  The noise and pollution are greater in El Centro.  Also, if you have plans at some point to own a car, chances are excellent that you’ll have no place to park it.   Most of the apartments downtown don’t come with parking facilities.  Friends have renovated a fabulous property downtown, sparing no expenses; however, there’s no parking space.  Also, many of the buildings downtown have no elevators.  You may enjoy walking, but it’s different when you’re carrying bags of groceries up 3 flights of stairs.

There’s a place for everyone.  If you look long enough, you’ll find it.  Don’t be hasty.  Make a list of the things that are important to you in housing.  Go to the area in which you feel comfortable and start walking.  Most properties are not listed in papers or with agencies; they’re available only by a sign in the window.  If you see a building you like, go in and ask the guard or administrator if there are vacancies.  You just might get lucky.  Happy house hunting.
Until next time,
Mick and Kathy