Monday, January 30, 2012

The journey continues...

Aaaahhh, the sunny days in South America are filled with pleasures and adventures.

It's been ten days since I posted to the blog, again because of computer problems. I have my computer back from the repair shop...for the third (hopefully the final) time. My system crashed horribly from the receipt of an "Olympic Torch" virus. This was the WORST. It infected and destroyed things to the point where I had to have a new hard drive installed. Be careful folks! It came to me as a facebook friend request. Don't open ANYTHING you're not sure of! It's cost me several hundred dollars so far, not to mention the data and picture loss and weeks of worry. However, I am cautiously optimistic that perhaps things are fixed now.

When I picked up my computer today, this was the sign in the sky that keeps me cautiously optimistic...


I'd hoped this post would be about the amazingly beautiful churches and cathedrals hereabouts...but the virus ate all those pictures. I'll collect more over the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, let's begin with some flora and fauna. Apart from the vibrant hibiscus, I have no idea what these beauties are, but they ALL grow wild around the streets of Cuenca, leaving me with smiles after every morning's walk. I can garden all year 'round here...hmmm...

These are flowers from hedges all across the city. Now these are not your ordinary hedges folks...these are between ten and fourteen feet tall, and FILLED with these beautiful blossoms.

This is a tree outside my computer repair shop...where I've spent a LOT of time lately... beautiful...

These little things grow in the cracks of sidewalks!

This is in a park...not sure what it is...

Aren't these just so CHEERFUL!?

A double hibiscus in the garden where I'm staying.

Last Friday, I wandered through Parque Caledron, in the old city, near the cathedrals (more about those next post...) when these young people spontaneously started playing the most WONDERFUL Spanish music! I wish I'd have figured out my camera's movie clip recording so you could actually HEAR them....maybe next time...

These pictures are from events leading up to "Carnival..." a celebration lasting till lent...these Spanish Catholics KNOW how to PARTY! Actually, the parades and festivities are all to honour Jesus.

The children are...spectacular...

These children were sitting in the back of a (decorated) pick up truck...

This was at the top of one of the vehicles...

Horses...lots and LOTS of horses!

The pageantry is mind boggling!

Ecuadorian soldiers add music to the they are on a well deserved break!

Friends and I travelled to Chordeleg, about an hour outside Cuenca, to visit silver jewelery markets. Jewelery shops here are called "Joyerias..." GREAT name 'eh!? And yes, we DID contribute to the local economy, like good tourists. Here I am with Jan (from California) and Linda (from Missouri)...a couple of the dozens of older single women (like me!) who travel and socialize together. Life is...GOOD!

That's all for this time.

Future posts will include photos of my week in Puerto Lopez...just click on the coloured link to see where I'm going. It's an eight hour drive away from Cuenca, along the Pacific Coast, in the midst of Machalilla National Park.

Tomorrow my landlady Rucchi is taking me to a very old ceramics workshop. (I am SO lucky to have found this apartment. Rucchi is part of a very old Cuencana family; she's given me wonderful history lessons, and has become such an integral part of this adventure, taking me places and suggesting sites I would never have considered...and helps me continue to cultivate the daily attitude of gratitude.)

Thanks for stopping by. Hope your days are filled with people you love and the things that you need.

Hasta luega!


  1. Fabulous pictures. I love your adventuresome spirit and appreciation of everything beautiful.

  2. Hello Deborah:
    Thanks for your blogspot; I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it and I will definitely stay tuned. I checked out the website of your next stop in Puerto Lopez and was totally enchanted. You are living my future dream and I appreciate your sharing.
    Diane on the Gulf Coast and making her way to Ecuador!!!

  3. Wonderful! It is a little colder here than there, but life is good here, too.

  4. You look like you are having a fabulous time! Great photos.

  5. Wow...Deborah.....Spectacular Photos....Keep them coming...can't wait to see Puerto Lopez..You are looking GREAT! Hugs Sue

  6. Deborah: Love your blog and love your "daily attitude of gratitude". The pictures are lovely, the children beautiful, flora and fauna fabulous. Is the tree with the red trailing blossoms a version of Love Lies Bleeding? What antivirus software are you using that didn't catch this virus?

    Liz (Libby)

  7. Deborah, I am so enjoying your photos and narrative. It looks like a happy place to be, and you are clearly having a wonderful time--good for you! I especially love the photos of those beautiful children. By the way, the three petal lilac flowers look like some variety of tradescantia, and the bright yellow-orange blooms with the dark centers are thunbergia, aka black-eyed susan.

  8. Deborah, It is fun to see what you are exploring and finding along the way of your adventure. It also gives me hope that maybe I too can travel as a single once my daughter is off to college in a couple of years.

  9. hey Deb, love the blog, and the attitued of gratitude in particular. Your pics have in inspired me to make the effort to come and see the niƱo viajero next year!
    Here is some info on your flowers: the first is Lantana, its quite common here in Ecuador, particularly in gardens, but is actually introduced and we are noticing more and more of it every year growing wild in the countryside. It is an incredible weed in some places such as Australia so a bit of a tricky one to consider planting in the garden as the seeds can be carried far and wide by birds. Its very popular with hummingbirds and butterfiles LOVE it, so a huge temptation, yes, we have one, but it causes a lot of stress! The black eyed yellow flower is known as black-eyed susan in these parts although it might not be the same black-eyed-susan of garden fame. Its very common in the Ecuadorian countryside in areas lower, drier and warmer than Cuenca and locals consider it to be native although I suspect that is something introduced that has naturalized itself. Below that is Bouganvillia, my Ecuadorian husband and I call it 'Gringo flower' because it is so popular with immigrants, rarely planted in our area (Vilcabamba) by locals. Below that is a native 'Pena Pena' (one of the fuschia family) which comes from the cooler cloud forests of the Andes at altitudes up to about that of Cuenca. You can eat the berries I'm told. Are you planning a garden? thanks for the blog
    Jennifer ;-)