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Thursday, January 19, 2017

I Went for an Afternoon Drive...to Nabon!!

It was another pretty day and I didn't have anything to do (that I wanted to do) and I had the itch to go for a long drive.

Driving South as if heading to Loja, Nabon (Nah-Bohn) is about an hour away from Cuenca.  It's a small town of about 12,000 people, and located nearly 1,000 feet higher than Cuenca in an arid, almost desolate area.  



I've driven by the sign on the highway pointing to this 'Nabon' many, many times so I thought, what the heck, why not go see this 'Nabon'!!!

At the turnoff for Nabon is this large tiled mural depicting life in the area (I guess).

Also at the same turnoff is yet another one of what I call 'prayer stops' you see all over Ecuador.
Or...maybe it's an advertisement for Allstate?
"You're in Good Hands with Allstate!"

Once you're off the main highway, it's a very scenic drive winding down and over to Nabon.  The road had been recently repaved.

Sign SEZ!!!
'Initiating improvements to the road from La Ramada to Nabon'  Amost 10 miles in length at a cost of one million three hundred eighteen thousand dollars.  Paul Carrasco Carpio is the head of the Azuay Prefectura (think Govenor of a State).
Voice, Vote, and Government

As with almost every town in Ecuador, there's the central square anchored by the church.  Nabon is no exception.  This one, however, had beautifully coifed trees.






Nabon is a very neat, charming surprise riding on the rolling knolls of the area.

The attorney's (abogado) office

The streets have been improved with hand-layed brick.

Another sign of our tax dollars at work, even in this small town.
A new recreational center.

Sign SEZ!!!!
The Citizen Revolution financed this work!
Construction of the Municipal Pool.
$216,576 and 27 cents.




The Fire (Bomberos) Dept

I noticed Nabon had a lot of wood used in their buildings which isn't very common here.


I saundered into the church.  Lightening didn't strike me down.

Unlike most churches in EC, this one made use of a lot of wood.


Patching the wall.  Don't have a ladder long enough?  Just strap another one on!!!

DON'T DO IT ADAM!!!!  IT'S A TRICK!!!
On my way out of Nabon, I decided to take the 'old road'...the one replaced with the new high-falooten asphalt road that them horseless buggies use now!!!!




Just a little creek to cross.

I LOVE these old one-lane bridges!!  They're all over Ecuador!



...even the ones that aren't covered and have no railings!!!

That's it!!!  All in one afternoon!

Til next time.....

Dano

For those of you who want to get 'out there' but don't own a car here, there's still hope for you.  Check out Cuenca Car Share online.  Juan and David have a handful of new/new-ish cars for rent at far less cost than renting from Avis or Budget and the like.  Their cars are ALREADY INSURED so there's no gouging on extra fees.  Regular tax (verus city tax, airport tax, user tax, special tax, and football stadium tax) is the ONLY tax.  Then, a small amount per KM.   It's a very affordable way to 'get up and get away' for a couple days, a week, or whatever.  Don't know your way around?  They can provide a GPS.  And, all you need is a valid drivers license (from wherever).  Oh, and they have a presence in Quito as well!

Click here to see Cuenca Car Share's website!!

Or...there's plenty of private drivers for hire here and many of them speak English.  Cost is about $12 an hour which includes their time, gas, wear/tear on car, waiting, etc.  Gringo Post is an excellent resource for finding drivers.  Just go to the website CLICK HERE and do a search for "driver". You'll see many of them listed as recommendations by others who've used them before.  Using this forum helps to reassure you on reliability and safety concerns.

Get some friends together and split the costs!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas in Cuenca - 2016


Christmas seems to come around faster and faster each year!!!

I've noticed, in the near-six years I've been here, the Christmas scene has changed significantly.

How?

  • When I first came here (WIFCH), there was only a tiny smattering of lighting in El Centro.  But each year, the city has purchased and displayed more and more.  Last year was the first time they strung blue wavy lights across the river from one bank to the other.  This year, not only did they expand the length of that display, but they added (in lighted figurines) jumping fish, a boy with a fishing pole, indigenous women washing laundry in the river, frogs, and wabbits (silwy things!!).
  • WIFCH, there were VERY few Christmas trees displayed anywhere other than malls.  If you wanted to buy a fake one (which is all we have) they were horrifically expensive.  This year, trees and ornaments were on sale everywhere.  Some stores practically replaced their entire regular inventory with everything Christmas.
  • It wasn't until last year that I spotted the first Santa display in Cuenca.  A big air-filled guy dangling from the side of a building.
  • WIFCH, it seemed everything Christmas was about the religious aspect, not the commercial.  Well, this year reindeer, snowmen, and that guy Santa showed up.
  • This year was the first time the city put up a tree in one of the church squares in El Centro.
  • Sadly, nothing has changed from WIFCH in that Christmas starts popping up in stores waaaay back in September.

One of the traditions is the Pase del Nino Viajero (passage of the child traveler) parade on Christmas Eve day.   Here's a bunch of shots I took this year.   It's all about the chillen.

















It's common for horses to be decorated to the hilt by strings of candy, booze bottles, fruit, and whatever food items you can cram on there!


This guy was plucking candy from his own horse decorations (see below) and flinging them to his fans.







Roast pig and dead chickens are also a favorite horse decoration (along with grapes, candy, and jelly).




They typically draw little mustaches on the young boys.







Til next time...

Dano

About Me

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Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Cuenca and greater Ecuador. I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live here.

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