Cuenca: November 6-9, 2018

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With the excitement of the holidays past. I had a few days where I manly hung around my condo, only venturing out when I needed to go shopping. On one of my trips out, returning from the Supermaxi. I snapped a photo of the pink hotel, to show it to one of the people at the language exchange, who hadn’t quite understood what building I was trying to speak about. I have since found out that the building was only recently painted pink. (Click here to read about the controversy.)

The Hotel Crespo next to the Juana de Oro escalinata

I like the Juana de Oro Escalinata because it has handrails, making carrying a load of groceries up to the old city safer. I had been craving Mangoes, as usual, and made sure my shopping trip took me past a corner, where I often see a woman with a wheelbarrow of rather nice looking mangos. I was disappointed not to see her on that day. About two blocks away, I spotted her wheeling her barrow down through traffic. I caught up with her at the corner and bought some mangoes and apples.

These apples were so elongated that I didn’t know what they were. Luckily I can ask, “Como es llama.” I know, some of you, who know me, know that I am not supposed to be eating apples. It was just a test to see if it was the apples, which gave me trouble, or if where the way they are grown in the US. These apples were wonderfully sweet, but they did give me a sore throat.  I ate them all at once , since the were about the size of plums.
The mango lady charged me a dollar for three mangos. Later, I found that the woman who sells closer to my condo sells them four for a dollar. The closer ones are a better quality too. Though they look like the fiberless mangos I used to get in Honolulu, they are not. While very sweet, they are also very fibrous. The ones that are not very sweet can be found at the farmer’s markets a dollar for a big bag. Those tend to be quite ripe and have to be eaten fast.
Though I was loaded down with my bags I still made a stop for sweets. I am a sucker for meringues.  I have to remember that the ones at the bakery nearest to my condo are coconut flavored, which I don’t like so much.

On Wednesday, I go to the Language exchange, so I wait until late to go for my walk on those days. I made a point of walking the route, which was filled with the white tents during the holidays, to see if it had all been cleared off.

This is the plaza that was filled with the white tents.

Cuenca is very clean. They have old-fashioned street sweepers, who rove around the streets pushing a barrel cart. They remind me of the street sweeper at the end of Fractured Fairy Tales. There are also no smelly dumpsters next to restaurants here. In Honolulu the MW restaurant had a horrible dumpster that stunk up the whole neighborhood.  I don’t miss that.

As I walked I was talking to a friend in the United States using my Bose Soundsport earbuds and my iPhone. I am on the T-Mobile plan so I get low-cost calls from Ecuador, but I really can’t afford even that. The T-Mobile plan gives me 2G roaming, which is good enough to make and receive voice calls using Viber. A friend, who travels all over the world told me about Viber and I have to admit that it has lived up to the hype. My business manager and I use Viber video calls on the condo WiFi to transact business. It has both a desktop and mobile app.

I hadn’t ever noticed that tree before. I liked this photo so much that I made a jigsaw puzzle of it.
Usually when I am going through Parque de la Madre, I am on my way to the Supermaxi, and take the fastest route, which circles the edge of the park. On sunnier days the park is filled with children, making the walk slow in the middle. On this day, because I was just out for a walk, and the children were mainly somewhere out of the rain, I went through the middle pathways and noticed the statues for the first time.
It looks as if when a tree died, an artist came in and carved the remainder.
Even with the intermittent rain, it was still hard to get a photo of the statues without people in them.
That bright light is a street light. There was less daylight than my iPhone would lead you to believe.

When I was at the park, my friend, who I was still speaking with via Viber, pointed out that it was getting late, and I didn’t want to miss the meetup. I doubled back to the plaza and still had enough time to make a lap around the plaza before going into my meeting.

I am afraid that the meeting wasn’t so much fun that time. I got buttonholed by a guy who was quite a bore. He only wanted me to speak in english, so there wasn’t the give and take of the other meetings.

After leaving the meetup, I walked past the church and saw that there was an exercise class going on. It looked like fun, but I don’t think you will see me joining that activity. It reminds me of Jazzercise, and I have two left feet.

I had planned on going out for a walk the next day, but got busy with blogging and goofing off. Just as I was about to head out I heard the rain. The video below has the sound of the rain on the cover of the courtyard, and a quick look out the hall window.

Categories: Americas, Ecuador, food, Nomad's Food, Shopping, TravelTags: , , , , , ,

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