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Saturday, May 25, 2013


Dedicated to and In the Memory of
My Friend Mollie
who crossed the bridge from this life into another world
after a snorkeling accident in Hawaii
1950 - 2013

There are many types of bridges...the kind you walk/drive over, the kind you burn behind you (or shouldn't), some have them in their teeth, and some are metaphors for transitions you make in life.  Hold this thought for a bit.

Bridges of Paute Valley

The other day I went for a drive to see what I could see.  I stopped by Planet Azul on the way in to Gualaceo.  PA is new waterslide park that I've been wanting to go to for awhile now.   But, it wasn't open.  Was there a sign ANYWHERE informing the public what hours and days they operate?  Nooooo   Their website doesn't even have it!!!  Ok, now that I've vented....

So, I continued on my random journey.   I drove along the riverside park in Gualaceo, and came upon this old wooden trestle bridge and interesting rock wall of arches.  There are many single-lane wooden bridges in EC...but they are slowly being replaced (dang!).

Of course I HAD to drive across it!!

Scene to the left.

Scene to the right.

My car....yep, THAT one.

I decided to drive over towards Paute to one of my favorite plant nurseries, which meant I would be crossing another river.  Just outside of Gualaceo there was a huge, green, shiny, new, interstate-like sign pointing in enormous arrows the direction to Paute.  Must be a primary, direct, route...right?  So, I took it.  'It' being a gravel road with so many potholes there was no way you could take a path to avoid them.   In a short distance I came upon this....

Sign sez "Only 1 car at a time"

Scene to the left.

Scene to the right.

....annnnnnnd cross....to another single lane dirt, pot-holed road that leads to the paved highway.
After I got my plant fix, I decided to take a side street where I had seen a sign many times before, pointing to a 'linear park'.  It was another greenbelt that followed along the Paute river with walking paths, playground equipment, viewing towers, and....bridges.  The pedestrian-only kind.  One end of the park appeared to be older and not used much, but the other end closer to the town of Paute was more actively used and kept up. You'll see what I mean in a sec.

A rather old, un-maintained, pedestrian suspension bridge.

Hmmmm...there was no sign stating it was closed, or dangerous, or keep off and there was no barrier.  So, what the heck, like an idiot I walked across.  Well, almost.

The planks.   I've walked across many suspension bridges here in EC and I've noticed that many of them don't use any center support under the planks.  I know the wood here is very hard...but...c'mon!!!   These boards were flexing pretty good underneath me, so I walked closer to the edge as you can see by my shadow.

I walked only a third of the way across, stopped to take this photo, then turned back.  Those rusted  metal rods look safe, don't they?   No??

At the other end of the linear park...

Ok, so it's not a bridge.  Bite me.   But it was silently twirling away.  I like windmills.

This one was in better condition than the one prior and I actually saw people using it.  At least it had a METAL walkway!!

Scene to the right.

Scene to the left.

Lookout tower.
It was time to head home.  The road in/out of Paute valley is a bit narrow and winding.  It ALWAYS has a lot of tanker trucks and dump trucks on it which causes a lot of traffic slowdown and maniacs attempting to pass in the very few spaces long enough to do so.

Hmmm....looks a lot like the one that just collapsed outside of Seattle a few days ago.

In the city of Cuenca, along the Tomebamba river, is this locals-favorite.  It's referred to as 'Puente Roto' which translates to 'broken bridge'.   Music festivities and art showings commonly occur here.

Outside Cuenca, on the way up to the Cajas, is a cutoff to go back to a lake via a car-rattling, bolt-loosening, cobblestone road and this charming bridge.

Y'all sing along now...."over the river and through the woods, to Grandmothers house we go!!!"

Another Kind of Bridge

Many, many, many people have come to Ecuador from other countries...the most popular being from the United States or Canada.  They've 'crossed a bridge' (get it?) in their lives, to come here.  Many people have come to a crossover (get it?) point in their lives and want to make a change.  So, where are they transitioning (get it?) FROM exactly?  I won't keep you in suspension (get it?) any longer.

Having driven for 23 clients, and my short-term rental apartments booked 38 times, I kept track of where my clients/guests were coming from.    In addition, my friend 'Granny' has quite a long list of friends in her email contacts and she shared with me their origination points....those that she could remember given her age and box-wine-induced state of mind.

These statistics (such as they are) indicate where folks came FROM when they moved or visited here.  It is NOT where they were originally born or grew up.  Otherwise, I would have ticky marks for Lebanon, Iran, and Germany.  For example, my friend Joanna Gabor is originally from Poland, but she moved here from Texas.  Therefore, Texas gets a ticky mark.  I didn't track down to a city level....just the state level....so build a bridge and get over it (get it?).   Also, each couple is counted as one ticky...not two.  After all, I'm presuming they moved TOGETHER from the same place.

As far as Canada goes, I don't know the provinces very well, so Canada got a bucket all to itself.

Without further ado....
  • Alabama - 1
  • Alaska - 2
  • Argentina - 1
  • Arizona - 1
  • Australia - 1
  • California - 7
  • Canada - 11 (Toronto, Montreal, Nova Scotia, Winnipeg)
  • Colorado - 7
  • England - 1
  • Florida - 12
  • Georgia - 5
  • Hawaii - 2
  • Illinois - 3
  • Maine - 1
  • Maryland - 1
  • Massachusetts - 1
  • Michigan - 1
  • Minnesota - 2
  • Missouri - 1
  • Montana - 1
  • Nevada - 4
  • New York - 2
  • New Jersey - 1
  • North Carolina - 2
  • Ohio - 2
  • Oregon - 4
  • Pennsylvania - 1
  • Tennessee - 1
  • Texas - 9
  • Virginia - 3
  • Washington (state) - 8 (YEAAAA!!!!)
That's 99 tickies, though in reality it involves close to 175 people.


GRACIE!!!   Get out of my blog!!!!


  1. What a talent you have, my Friend. I think you could make an interesting adventure out of crossing the street. ~jody

  2. You have, what will hopefully be, the Franklin Finca Bridge in your pictures. Love it!

  3. Great blog post Dano,everybody writes a book about what they do/encounter in Ecuador.When is yours available on kindle?

  4. Ps,Off course Gracie was the very best of this blogpost.

  5. Lookout tower - more info, please. Why and where?

    Huge surprise that with your penchant for checking things out, why didn't you climb it?

    Your blog is your e-book...could anybody write better chapters than you do?

    Last comment: "scene left and scene right" left me wondering:
    if we don't know what direction you are going, how do we know that scene left is not really scene right and vice versa?
    and if you are taking these pictures, who is driving the car at these times?

    Gracie gets cuter every blog.

    Charlotte NC

  6. So sorry for your loss of Mollie. Sounds as if she lived life to the fullest, and what better life could one live. 50 <---------->13
    Rest Well Mollie

  7. Great blog Dano. My wife and I are arriving in Cuenca today and would like to contact you for your car services.


  8. Jump Dano jump!


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About Me

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Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

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