Friday, June 22, 2012

Ecuadorable Ecuador!

It's been SO LONG since I posted...I've been a bad blogger...I've been told I might even go to blogger hell...oh well...onward. Today I received an e-mail from an old friend...LOVED it... 

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the things you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  
Mark Twain


So, in the early stages of my dotage, I'm exploring, dreaming and discovering! The main news is that I've emigrated. As part of my journey of "Upcycling my Ordinary Life,"  I left my home of several decades...in the beautiful eastern Canadian province of Nova Scotia, and am now living in the beautiful old colonial city of Cuenca, high up in the Cajas Mountains...part of the Andes range...in the tiny country of Ecuador. You can see it here...the little blue country, between Peru and Colombia. (If your eyes are as decrepit as mine, just click on any photo for a larger image)

I've been here seventeen weeks altogether, and am as smitten as the day I first arrived on my exploratory trip...one of the best honeymoon periods I've ever had! <g> I sold or gave away everything in Nova Scotia except seventy boxes of assorted treasures...primarily family things and hobby supplies, which will be shipped from Montreal as soon as my residency is finalized. I've planted my little garden, have settled into my new house in a predominantly Spanish community (see previous posts...will update with new photos soon), have met some wonderful people (Cuencanas and ex-pats alike), am taking Spanish lessons (OOOOHHH me nerves!), have travelled to the Pacific Coast, and my social life is busier than it was in my twenties! There's a very active ex-pat community here, with organized gatherings going on every day of the week...LOVIN' this retirement thing, and SO looking forward to exploring more, and to getting involved in my old hobbies again.

I have SO MANY photos and stories to share, but today's post is ALL ABOUT THE BEACH! In Cuenca, where I live, at 8300 feet above sea level, the temperatures are moderate...up to the low seventies in the afternoons (wonderful climate for gardening) and drop quickly at night, making for SUCH comfortable sleep. I chose this area precisely for that reason. The older I get, the more heat-intolerant I have become.

BUT...you can't live in South America and NOT go to the beaches...sooo...off to the coast we go! We travelled to a surfers' paradise town called Montanita, which is about six hours drive from Cuenca, and a couple of hours from the port city of Guayaquil. We stayed in a beach house, where the only noise was the sound of the pounding surf...well...and one other...keep reading...

This was the view from my bedroom window, on the second floor of the house...



You just never know what you'll see out that window...it's a "working beach..."





Fish...caught in the mornings, served at lunch...


Here's some of the scenery on the quiet part of "our beach," where I'll go again in September and December and January with visiting Canadian family and friends. This is the house we stayed in for this trip, but I've found another, further down the beach...with AIR CONDITIONING!! Be still my heart! 

The first floor patio


The view outside the gate, where we'd sit and sip our coffee in the morning:


The house...


Young love...


Aaaahhh bliss...


I enjoyed swimming here EVERY SINGLE DAY...just a little warmer than the Atlantic <g>


Other typical beach houses...



We partied and ate and shopped in a small eclectic enclave in the town...drank Margaritas on the beach...watched lovely young people surfing and enjoying their lives...here are three young Canadian backpackers touring South America...


The beach in town is busy from dawn to dusk! It was great to be part of the hustle and bustle, but it was even better to go "home" at night to the sole sound of the surf.


David (an ex-pat from the US) and Donna (an ex-pat from Maine, now living in and visiting from Mexico)


Sumana (my South african ex-pat amiga, with one of her Argentinian friends...


Another one...just for her...


More friends...


Parents and families are together most of every day...they bring their children to work...day and night...






and when they're tired, they rest...



Here are typical "family vehicles..." interesting 'eh?



We had a fabulous time in Montanita, and I'm looking forward to going back with Canadian amigoes...but THIS is where we'll stay for our next visits. Look at the link, scroll up to see the photos, and make sure you look at the prices folks.  Life is GOOD in Ecuador!

Next post I'll show you more of my adopted city of Cuenca, so be sure to come back to visit. And speaking of visiting...I have LOTS of room for friends who need some siesta time...Casa de Marza is open!

My Cajas Mountains...

A street in the historical section of Cuenca...with the Catholic Cathedral in the background...


The first hibiscus blossoms in my little garden...more to come!


Friends enjoying dinner at our regular Saturday night venue...the Secret Garden in Cuenca...Penny, Deb, and Vickie...


Beauty...



Thanks for visiting...hope you'll let me know you were here...

41 comments:

  1. Oh sweet Jesus, Deborah, I have GOT to get there soon, your photos just beckon to me! What an awesome place! Can't wait to visit.

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    1. ANY time T'rese...your bedroom is all ready...will post more about that next time!

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  2. Ok, I'm ready now!!! September hurry up! Great photos. I think I am in love with Ecuador already.

    Lesley

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  3. It reminds me a lot of Cuba. No big surprise there, I guess.
    You seem to be having a wonderful time! Hope it continues to be amazing for you.

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  4. Gerald &amp; SheenaJune 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Loved the pictures! You have chosen an enviable lifestyle I wish I (we) was/were 20 years younger and had known that place existed!!! Enjoy it and I know you will!!Love,from the Love Birds.. G & S

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  5. I just sent photo number two of the beach as my desktop at work.

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    1. GREAT!! Keep it front and centre till you come in September! Can hardly WAIT for your visit!

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  6. You are very brave to move so far away and to such a different culture and lifestyle-I admire your courage :-)
    It looks absolutely beautiful!

    Emily
    emilysummers-designer.blogspot.com

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  7. I was just thinking about you the other day wondering how things were going and hoping you would do another post! So happy things are well

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  8. YAY!!!! I'm waving hugely at the monitor hoping you will see me! SO GOOD to read your post, learn more about South America from your fabulous photos and just to know that life is good and you are happy! Looking forward to more updates and photos.

    Much love and big hugs sent to you from me. I've missed you!

    Jennifer (you know...from the great white north!)

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  9. Hi Deborah

    very beautiful. I love looking your photos of the surf - makes my mouth water. xoLorena

    a touch warm in Ottawa

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  10. P.S. The Twain quote and Ark-dinosaur comic is BRILLIANT together. Yep! Mr. Twain was one insightful and wise dude! More warms hugs sent to you.

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  11. Hi Deb, just got you're most recent bloc, loved all the pics and wonderful places you are visiting. You're first flowers in you're garden are amazing. Lots of loveReg.

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  12. Just last week I was wondering why we hadn't heard from you. Now, I know you are still on the great adventure! I REALLY want to hear all the good and bad of making such a huge change in life! I just may do something like that myself. ~ Maureen

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  13. Absolutely gorgeous....and talk about "attachment parenting"! My daughter Heather would love how families work there. Once again....way to go, girl! You are nothing short of awesome! Can't wait to see more!

    Lynn

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  14. I know you have better things to do but SOOOOOO glad you updated your blog!! Love the pics! Have you adopted those three little boys at the table yet? What adorable children! The beach/house look amazing!!!! Can't wait to dip my toes in that water. How many more sleeps?? What an awesome adventure you're on. Can't wait to be a part of it.

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  15. I'm anonymous, Deb! Forgot to sign my name. Silly me.
    Judy - AKA Sister of Sister-in-law.

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  16. It looks amazing, Deb! Fantastic photos and you are clearly having the time of your life! Good for you gal! I'll try to get over there some time!

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  17. Hi Deb The pictures are great I envy you Please keep in touch and enjoy your new home Dianne

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  18. amazing can't wait to go

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  19. Hi Deb. GREAT blog. It's so evident that you are happy in Cuenca. But, good people are generally happy wherever they go. That means you should be extra happy in Cuenca.

    Thanks for posting the great pic in our place.

    Love,

    Joe and Joseph

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  20. Beautiful photos, as always! I've missed your blog posts. Keep them coming, please!

    Pam

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  21. wow..so fascinating to me...and seems so far away and exciting! love looking at all the pictures of those far away places...lucky you!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

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  22. Hi Deborah. I am going to pass on a link to your blog to my niece who is currently in Guayaquil (although she is due to come home soon). The scenery around your new home is stunning - just as amazing but totally different from your old views in Nova Scotia. Hope your crafting stuff arrives soon though - we are missing seeing your lovely cards! Judith (JMF on World of Crafters)

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    1. JUDITH!! How NICE to see you here!! Keep your fingers crossed for my residency requirements to be settled soon, so that I can then ship my hobby stuff...MISSING it so much!! Meanwhile I'll live vicariously through WOC!

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  23. HI Deborah
    Absolutely amazing and beautiful! Now if you could hook Mick up with a job I think I could live there according to your pictures and descriptions!HUgs Heather

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    1. I'm sure Mick could get work here...as long as he speaks fluent Spanish, and wouldn't mind working for less than half his current salary (lol). It really IS a most wonderful place in the world...and I feel so blessed to live here...come visit any time! Otherwise, I hope to see you in Feb/Mar when I visit children and grandchildren in Ottawa and Montreal!

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  24. Can't wait for December!!! See you then! Favourite Brother!

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  25. I love the pictures of Montanita.

    I love the way you describe your new adventure and the next part of your life.

    When I go back to Cuenca I would love to go to Montanita with you.

    I am sure you had lots of fun and we will have lots of fun.

    Looking forward to our trip to Montanita.

    Love your enthousiasim

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  26. Looking forward to our trip to Montaninta.
    Looking forward to see you again

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  27. Deborah,so pleased to see you in your new life. It truly looks wonderful and happy you are loving doing all the wonderful things you are doing. I have missed you at WofC and all your wonderful cards. Happy you are enjoying browsing there with us.
    Dorothy from WofC.

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  28. I'm so happy you posted an update. It's intriguing to read of this adventure you are on. I keep thinking maybe I can do this once my daughter is off to college. Please continue to share and I'd love it if you talk about some of the practical things and legal things you have to do to relocate like this. I want to come visit this place. You have made it look amazing!

    Sandi

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  29. I've so enjoyed reading your blog and looking at your pictures! (I may have seen them before, but no odds to me:-) I'm glad you're enjoying the moment - for what else is there!

    Love and Hugs,
    Liz

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  30. I was here!
    Words fail me.
    my daughter just returned from 2 years in Chile, and all of my children love SA.
    someday.
    blessings,
    robyn(from Quietfire)

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  31. wow that's a major change. Love all the pics. Envious of that beach. That's the one thing I really really miss from living in PEI.
    all the best with your new home.

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  32. What incredible photos and what an incredible place to live! It all looks stunning! I love it when people follow their dreams and you obviously have!

    Thanks for your visit to my blog, so glad you did as it made me find yours:o) I'll be back!

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  33. I LOVE reading this and seeing your beautiful pictures, Deb! I sure hope I'll be able to visit you there sometime soon. No word as to my fate for the fall yet. I'll let you know. Take care xoxoxo Michele

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  34. Saw your comment on Pearl's "The Beading Gem's Journal" and had to take a look at your blog. My hubby and I lived in Quito for several years and enjoyed each and every day there.

    Loved your photos, made me remember once again how beautiful Ecuador is and how lovely and warm the people there are. I loved the shopping there also, they make so many wonderful things, wood furniture and carvings, fantastic leather goods, woven fabrics, ceramics, etc. etc. Again thanks for the memories. :)

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  35. So I was on a blog reading about making a no pattern dress and read your comment inviting ppl to read your blog so I came. Wow I am really happy I came...your photos were worth the trip. Am in the process of packing up myself and wondering what I should keep and what to dispose of.
    Enjoy

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