We’ve become homebodies. We’re regular Cuencanos and have a place we plan to stay in for the foreseeable future. Our little house isn’t much, but it’s only $350/mo and suits us fine.
It’s a little place behind the big house the owners live in.
Turn to the right and here’s the look toward the front, alongside the big house.
And here’s the look form the front at the big house.
How “homebody” are we? The owners have a little dog, Luna, who has adopted us, I think because we give her attention. Maybe we’ve adopted each other. I call her Cupcake.
As I wrote before, the best part of where we’re at is the location. 50 meters out the alley where this place is is a lane which runs along one of the four rivers in town. Turn right and within a couple hundred more meters are these places.
All along the river are steps up to the historical center.
As you can see, not all of the graffiti is pleasant.
That last picture is actually about half a kilometer upriver. A nice thing about this is when we want to go up to the center of town, we don’t have to walk through the town part, which can be loud and bus-fumey. We can stroll as far as we need to to get to below where we want to be and go up the stairs.
Up those last stairs and four blocks is the central plaza and surrounding colonial buildings.
You probably don’t want or need a car here. Everything you might want is within walking distance. First, it saves money so we can live well on my modest income. Besides, buses are 25 cents and go everywhere. Secondly, it’s nice to walk places. This is a great thing.
I’ve lived and traveled now in every kind of country. Wide open cowboy countries, democracies, socialist dictatorships, just about everything. The trick to appreciating socialist dictatorships like Ecuador is to enjoy the benefits, like the cheap transportation, great public programs and venues, ultra-cheap health care, and less partisan bickering. The press self-censors but, unlike China, the internet isn’t censored. This way works as long as the country isn’t a kleptocracy, and of course in the future that’s always a risk. The 1% gets theirs everywhere. It’s the way of the world. “Why worry now”, as the song says. Corruption isn’t too bad here, no worse than the rest of Latin America. Better than Guatemala, that’s for sure. As long as you’ve got a conscientious ruling oligarchy, really trying to run a good country, the rest of it isn’t too bad. At least, that’s how I see it. If you are on the short end of a decision, well, then maybe it doesn’t work for you.
Speaking of programs, the local government provides free bicycles and helmets on Sundays at various points in the city. One of the places is on the river in front of our place. We’ve used them a couple of times. The basic route in this run goes from up the river about a kilometer to 7 kilometers by our place and down the river. The 14 km round trip is just ’bout right for me.
I wrote last time that I would write after Carnival. Well, Carnival here wasn’t exactly Rio. There were some parades and religious pre-Lent stuff. I’m still jaded about processions and didn’t bother to go watch or take pictures. Around here, the main thing was young people dousing everybody with water. It was a regular Thai songkraan. Wherever we walked, we had to watch for people lurking to soak you….
… We weren’t always successful at avoiding it.
That’s going to do it for now. When another chunk of life is worth chronicling, I’ll be back. Be well, all of you. Peace out.