2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage

2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage
VIVA CUENCA

VIVA CUENCA!

My mission in publishing this blog is first to provide a living history of my settlement and life in Cuenca, and to provide myself and the reader with a journal account delineating my reasons for why I have chosen to settle in Cuenca. Second, the posts are my way of staying in contact with family and friends back in the states, and to provide them with an understanding of a country and culture that most North Americans have little knowledge and awareness. Third, the blog is open to one and all who wish to compare and contrast the experiences of expat bloggers living in Cuenca, so that you can determine whether or not from your perspective Cuenca is an appropriate move for you. Fourth, my blog provides another example of how expats view and interpret life in Cuenca. Ecuadorians and Cuencanos who may read this blog are especially invited to post comments that may enhance all expats understanding and appreciation of Cuneca and its people, or to correct any misinterpretations in my assumptions and perceptions of Cuencano culture. Finally, I hope I can convey the feeling of love and appreciation that grows within me each passing day for this heavenly city nestled in the Andes and its very special people.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

VACATION ALONG ECUADORIAN COAST: PART II PHOTOS

WELL WHAT CAN I SAY, IF YOU CLICK ON THE PHOTO IT WILL ENLARGE.  CLICK OFF TO THE SIDE OF THE PHOTO AND IT WILL REVERT TO ITS SMALLER STATUS, WHICH WILL ALLOW YOU TO READ THE CAPTIONS.  I WORKED DILIGENTLY TO HAVE ALL THE COMMENT LINES ALIGNED FROM THE CENTER.  HOWEVER WHEN I PREVIEWED THE POST, THE COMMENT LINES BECOME FRAGMENTS AND ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE.  I ALSO TWICE WENT THROUGH AND LEFT A SPACE AFTER EACH COMMENT BEFORE THE NEXT PHOTO, THE SPACE HELD WITH SOME PHOTOS AND NOT WITH OTHERS.  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  ONCE AGAIN, WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET.

I ALSO LEFT OUT A PHOTO OF A WHALE AS IT WAS SUBMERGING BACK INTO THE WATER.  I JUST WASN'T FAST ENOUGH TO SPOT THE WHALES, FIND THEM IN MY PHOTO VIEW FINDER, AND SNAP THEM WHILE THEY MIRACULOUS PULLED THEM- SELVES OUT OF THE WATER AND PERFORMED THEIR TWIRL BEFORE SUBMERGING BACK INTO ITS DEPTHS.  I HAD SOME VERY GOOD PHOTOS OF MAMMOTH TORTOISES SWIMMING OFF THE BOW OF OUR BOAT.  WHEN I REALIZED I HAD LEFT THE PHOTOS OUT, I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT A WAY TO ADD IT TO THE CURRENT POST OF PHOTOS.  THANK GOD MY NEXT TWO POSTS WON'T INVOLVE ANY PHOTOS.





AN OPEN AIR RESTAURANT IN THE HEART OF THE BEACH DISTRICT IN SALINAS, ECUADOR

                 A MEAL OF VARIOUS BAKED SEAFOOD ITEMS AT THE RESTAURANT
SALINAS, ECUADOR

   BEACH FRONT ALONG THE MAIN COASTAL BEACH AREA IN SALINAS, ECUADOR
 
               THE BEACH PROPERTY IN THE FAR LEFT CORNER LITERALLY BANKS UP
                                                            AGAINST THE OCEAN.

                           JET SKIING ON THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN SALINAS, ECUADOR

WE HAD THE BEACHES (PLAYAS) ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY TO OURSELVES.

        JET SKIING NEAR A BUOY, A NUMBER OF WHICH WERE SETUP IN THE WATER
       TO ADVERTISE  PRODUCTS, WHILE WARNING SWIMMERS TO GO NO FURTHER.

                                                  YACHTS IN THE SALINAS HARBOR

                    MUSCLE MAN IN A MONTANITA, ECUADOR PLAYGROUND AREA

                  THE INTERIOR OF A SIMPLE AND ATTRACTIVE CATHOLIC CHURCH
                                                          IN MONTANITA, ECUADOR.

  MONTANITA OFFERED THE BEST WAVES IN OUR THREE TOWN VISIT FOR SURFERS.

NATURAL STONE WALL WITH STRUCTURE ON TOP JETTING OUT FROM THE MONTANITA COAST

                                    GAZEBO IN THE TOWN SQUARE OF MONTANITA

                   EXTERIOR OF THE CHURCH OFF THE TOWN SQUARE IN MONTANITA

                                          COLORFUL STREET SCENE IN MONTANITA

                                  STREET ENTERTAINERS IN MONTANITA, ECUADOR

ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING CAN BE PURCHASED IN THE WAY OF SOUVENIRS IN MONTANITA.

            NEED A SURF BOARD.  THERE ARE PLENTY ON HAND FOR PURCHASE. THE 
          TWO YOUNG MEN IN FRONT OF THE BOARD WERE WHAT WAS LEFT AFTER A 
                                           GREAT WHITE DINED ON THEIR TORSOS.

      THESE HOMBRES ARE PLAYING CHECKERS.   EACH WITH HIS OWN DIFFERENT
                                                  COLORED SET OF BOTTLE CAPS.

   IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY, THEY HAVE WHAT EVER YOU MAY WANT OR STRIKES
   YOUR FANCY.  LIKE THE TOWN, EVEN THE MERCHANDISE IS HIGHLY COLORFUL.

              THESE LIQUOR FLASKS ARE DISTINCTIVE AND ATTRACTIVE IN DESIGN.

STREET SCENE IN MONTANITA

                                           ANOTHER STREET SCENE IN MONTANITA

A RESTAURANT IN MONTANITA WHERE WE ATE TWICE BECAUSE OF THE ATTRACTIVE SETTING.

                                                             SUNSET IN MONTANITA

 THE LARGE STONES RANGED THE BREADTH OF THE BEACH AREA IN MONTANITA, WHICH SEPARATED THE BEACH AREA FROM THE HOSTELS AND BUSINESSES ACROSS
                                                       THE STREET FROM THE BEACH.

 WATER OFF OUR BOAT IN PUERTO LOPEZ, WITH A VIEW OF ONE OF THE COAST LINES THAT JUTS OUT FROM THE BEACH AND HELPS TO FORM THE PUERTO LOPEZ HARBOR.  WE WERE ON OUR WAY TO ISLE DE PLATA --THE POOR MAN'S GALAPOGOS.

 MARLA, A YOUNG LADY FROM SINGAPORE WHO ALONG WITH SOME OTHER YOUNG LADIES WOULD PARTICIPATE IN SOME OF OUR DAYTIME ACTIVITES, AND FILL OUR EVENINGS WITH CONVERSATION AND FUN.  DOESN'T SHE LOOK LIKE HALLE BARRY?

 FATIMAH IS FROM HOUSTON, TEXAS AND ON HER WAY TO LIVE IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.  HERE SHE AND HER LITTLE FRIEND FROM CUENCA KEEP EACH OTHER ENTERTAINED INTERMITTENTLY WHEN THERE WERE NO WHALES TO SEE
                                                    ON OUR WAY TO ISLE.DE LA PLATA
 ARRIVING AT THE COAST OF PLATA ISLE.  THE ISLE IS COVERED IN A WHITE SHEEN,
              WHICH IS GUANO THAT ACTUALLY ILLUMINATES THE ISLE AT NIGHT.

                                                       MAP OF ISLE DE LA PLATA

                     WHAT EVERYBODY COMES TO SEE, THE BLUE FOOTED BOOBIES.
                THE BOOBIES LOSE THEIR BLUE PIGMENTATION UPON THEIR DEATHS.

THE GROUND IS THE BOOBIE'S NEST.  THE BOOBIES WERE ALL OVER THE PATH WE HIKED.  WE WERE WARNED TO REMAIN AT LEAST TWO FEET FROM THE BIRDS AS THEIR BEAKS ARE RAZOR SHARP.  THE BOOBIES LAY TWO TO THREE EGGS.  OF WHICH ON AVERAGE ONLY ONE OF THE EGGS WILL SURVIVE.
BOTH PARENTS TAKE CARE OF THE EGGS, AND WE DID SEE FOR WHATEVER REASON SOME DISCARDED EGGS SITTING A FEW FEET FROM THE NESTS.
.


                               A SCENE OF THE ISLAND FROM A HIGHER ALTITUDE.

A SIMILAR SCENE WITH MORE OF A VIEW OF THE OCEAN.

 THIS TIME OF YEAR THE ISLAND AND THE COASTAL VEGETATION ARE VERY DRY.
  THE ISLE'S SOIL WAS HEAVILY PARCHED BY CREVICES FROM THE LACK OF RAIN.

                                 IF YOU ARE A BIRD LOVER, YOU WILL LOVE PLATA.

    WITH ALL THESE BIRDS, YOU NOW UNDERSTAND THE SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT
                                                      OF GUANO ON THE ROCKS.

MOTHER WITH TWO CHICKS

                THESE BIRDS, LIKE THE BIRD IN THE ABOVE PHOTO,  ARE FRAGATAS.
                                                      THEY GLIDE AND THEIR WIDE
                      WINGSPAN MAKES THEM LOOK LIKE PREHISTORIC SURVIVORS.

                               BABIES LOOKING OUT FROM UNDER THEIR MOTHER.
   WE SNORKLED OFF THE COAST OF PLATA.  IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAD EVER
              SNORKLED AND MADE ME ALL THE MORE WANT TO SCUBA DIVE.

 ONE OF MY TRAVELING BUDDIES.  TARZAN NEEDS TO REMOVE SOME CLOTHING.
WE WANTED HIM TO BEAT ON HIS CHEST AND GIVE OUT THE TARZAN YELL WHILE
                       HE WAS SWINGING.  THE CHALLENGE REMAINED JUST THAT.

       TWO OF THE THREE HORSES AS WE RODE THROUGH THE PARQUE NACIONAL
                                                                   MACHALILLA.

 PARQUE NACIONAL MACHALILLA IS ABOUT A HALF HOUR DRIVE EAST OF PUERTO
     LOPEZ.  NOTICE UNLIKE PLATA ISLE AND ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST HOW
                                           GREEN THE VEGETATION IS IN THE PARK.

DENSE VEGETATION IN THE PARK.

 MANY TYPES OF TROPICAL FRUITS ARE GROWING IN MACHALILLA.  FOR EXAMPLE,
                                  WE PLUCKED AND ATE SOME MANDARIN ORANGES.

LICHEN COVERS MANY OF THE ROCKS AND TREES.

                                        BEAUTIFUL SCENERY WHEREVER WE LOOK.

          I FORGOT THE NAME OF THIS PLANT, BUT IT WAS THE MOST PLENTIFUL
   FLOWERED PLANTS WE SAW IN THE PARK AND IS RELATED TO THE BANANA
                                           FAMILY, BUT IS NOT FRUIT-BEARING.

     MY HORSE SPENT ALMOST EVERY MINUTE OF THE RIDE EATING LIKE A HORSE.

 AS SOON AS HE ATE ONE MOUTHFUL OF VEGETATION, HE STARTED LOOKING FOR
                                                              HIS NEXT MOUTHFUL.

 THIS WAS OUR AWESOME GUIDE, CARLOS, HE WAS VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT
                                THE NATIONAL PARK AND HAS A REAL LOVE FOR IT.

 IT HAD RAIN THE NIGHT BEFORE.  SOME AREAS AT HIGHER ALTITUDES WERE AT
STEEP INCLINES AND THE HIGHER ALTITUDES WERE EXTREMELY MUDDY.  CARLOS DECIDED THAT I MAY NEED SOME HELP, AND OUT OF NOWHERE HANDED ME A
                                                                     BAMBOO STAFF.

                                FIRST THERE WAS MIST, WHICH SOON TURNED INTO FOG.

      ATTEMPTING TO SLOG THROUGH THE MUD, WHERE THE HORSES COULD NOT
                                                    CARRY US WAS A CHALLENGE.

                               SLIPPING AND SLIDING, AND SLIDING AND SLIPPING.
UNLIKE THE PHOTO ABOVE FEW OF THE INCLINES AND DESCENSIONS HAD POLES FOR US TO GRAB.  GENERALLY, WE JUST HOPED FOR A TREE OR SOME WELL ROOTED
                               VEGETATION TO GRAB UNTO.  THANK GOD FOR BOOTS.  SOMETIMES WE SUNK A FOOT DEEP IN THE MUD.

                       CARLOS TOOK US TO HIGHER ALTITUDES, BECAUSE OF LESS FOG.

                 SOME OF THE GUYS WERE EXCITED WHEN WE SPOTTED SOME BIRDS.

                              I DID THE BEST I COULD IN THE FOG WITH MY CAMERA .

 IF THE BIRDS GOT SOME OF THE GUYS EXCITED, WHEN WE FINALLY SPOTTED THE
   MONKEYS THEY WERE ECSTATIC, WHICH INCLUDED CARLOS WHO FELT HE HAD
                                 DELIVERED AS A GUIDE ALL THAT WAS PROMISED.

 UNFORTUNATELY, BECAUSE OF THE FOG AND THE FACT THAT THE MONKEYS BLENDED IN SO WELL WITH THE FOILAGE, THEY BECOME LITTLE MORE THAN DARK
                                                          MASSES IN THE PHOTOS.

  AFTER OUR FIVE AND A HALF HOURS OF HORSEBACK RIDING AND HIKING,  WE RETURNED TO PUERTO LOPEZ.  TWO OF THE GIRLS THOUGHT WE GUYS MAY HAVE
                                     SEEN SPIDER MONKEYS.  THEY WERE VERY BIG.

 NO TAXIS IN PLACES LIKE MONTANITA OR PUERTO LOPEZ.  THESE VEHICLES WOULD NOT STAND A CHANCE IN CUENCA TRAFFIC.  HOWEVER WHILE FRAGILE, THEIR
              ENGINES WERE MORE POWERFUL AND SPEEDIER THAN GOLF CARTS.

            ONE OF THE OTHER NATURAL COAST LINES THAT JUTTED OUT FROM THE
                                     BEACH TO FORM THE PUERTO LOPEZ HARBOR.

 THE PUERTO LOPEZ BEACH WAS LINED WITH THATCHED ROOF STRUCTURES LIKE THE ONE ABOVE, WHICH ADDED A TROPICAL AMBIANCE TO THE BEACH, AND
                      ALMOST ALL OF WHICH WERE BASICALLY BARS AND MUSIC.

                            A STREET SCENE ALONG THE BEACH IN PUERTO LOPEZ

                     ANOTHER STREET SCENE ALONG THE BEACH IN PUERTO LOPEZ

WE ALL HATED TO SAY GOODBYE TO PUERTO LOPEZ, AND FOR SOME OF US AN END
      TO OUR VACATION ON THE COAST AS WE HEADED IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS..






11 comments:

  1. Excellent post. You took great photos and it looks like you had lots of fun. Glad you made it back home to Cuenca safely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Patty, but I look at my big rear-end in one of the photos, and I need to talk to you about your very successful diet. I keep hitting a brick wall, where I get down to a certain weight and just can't drop below it.

      Delete
  2. I found your website the other day and after reading a handful of posts, thought I would say thank you for all the great content. Keep it coming! I will try to stop by here more often.

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  3. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me.
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  6. Thanks to all of you for your kind words. I assume if you are reading my blog, at some point you intend to visit Cuenca or make it your home. Good luck to all of you in your endeavors.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi There, I just spent a little time reading through your posts, which I found entirely by mistake whilst researching one of my projects. Please continue to write more because it’s unusual that someone has something interesting to say about this. Will be waiting for more!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me.
    have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks, Golam, I assume that although you responded on this post, you are aware that I did post on 10/10 entitled "Nineteenth Month Anniversary Celebration". I just don't post until I have something to say. Maybe soon again. Glad you enjoy the blog. Thanks for expressing your appreciation as a reader of this site.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi! My name is Sarah, and I love your blog! I am an animal lover too and that's why I wanted to send you this article below. I live in California, but I am hoping to move to Montanita/Manglaralto later this year. Kind Regards, Sarah ~x~

    The Stray Dogs of Montanita: Your Chance to Help Man's Best Friend

    David and one of Montanita's many stray dogs: he just wants to be loved!
    Anybody who has lived in or traveled through developing countries before will be familiar with the sight of stray dogs. They are so heartbreaking to see so underfed, diseased and suffering. These poor stray dogs are not properly cared for, or neutered, and are left free to roam the streets, multiplying rapidly in the process. There is never enough food to go around and the dogs often end up dying of starvation or from diseases or injuries.

    Here in Ecuador's most famous surf town, Montanita, stray dogs are Everywhere. I’ve noticed them everyday on our way to the beach to give surf lessons, constantly swerving the truck to avoid running over the dozens of dogs lying in the middle of the road in a suicidal manner, too tired to move.

    They don't look too healthy and although they may look rough, they really just want to be loved. Just a simple pat on the head and these dogs will collapse in joy. But at the end of the day, nobody looks after them, there is not enough food to go around, and many of them will catch diseases and suffer painful deaths. So what can we do to help alleviate some of the suffering of these innocent creatures?

    Barak Epshtein first arrived in Montanita nine months ago and set up “Café del Mar” on one of the main streets in town. Everyday Barak sees the dogs around the town and he is sick of seeing their suffering. “Nobody cares about the dogs here, nobody is doing anything to help them,” he says. But he has an idea. Barak is appealing to a veterinarian from around the world to come and live in Montanita for a month, or longer, and work in a clinic neutering and treating the town’s stray dogs for diseases.

    His plan is in accordance with the advice of many animal rights organisations. All too often governments think purely in a short-term economic manner, ignoring the suffering of the animals and killing them in inhumane ways.

    Obviously the best way to help the dogs is by giving them homes and registering them. However in places with large stray populations, like Montanita, neutering the dogs and treating them for common diseases is a great first step.

    Barak will provide a suitable clinic for the treatment of the animals, and other people and businesses in town, such as Montanita Spanish School, will be providing the materials needed. Many others will be volunteering their time to assist with the program in other areas.

    In return, the suitable applicant will have a comfortable apartment to stay in and all food provided for their time in Montanita.

    So if you, or anybody you know, is interested in helping the dogs of Montanita, and have a background as a veterinarian and/or in neutering and caring for animals, then please email the school at this address: info@montanitaspanishschool.com and we can put you in touch with Barak. Start dates and time frames are all flexible.

    Kind Regards,
    Michael
    http://montanita-spanish-school.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-stray-dogs-of-montanita-your-chance

    ReplyDelete