Ponder this. You're Spanish and you have to learn things in English such as the difference between 'write and right', 'meet and meat', and why you pronounce 'cough' different than 'rough' different than 'through' even 'though' they all end in ...ough. AHEM!!! In Spanish, however, the letter 'V' is always pronounced as 'B'. For example, 'Yo vivo in Cuenca' (I live in Cuenca) you pronounce 'Yo Beeboh in Cuenca'. The good thing is, the letter 'I' is always pronounced 'E', the letter 'E' always 'Eh', the letter 'A' always 'Ah'. There isn't such a thing as a 'long vowel' or 'short vowel' like there is in Ingleesh...oops...English.
- Trip to Giron
No, not GUYRON....GEEROHN. I was a little stir crazy one day and needed to get out for a drive. So, I chose another path out of the city and headed for the small hamlet of Giron approximately 45kms away (30 miles). It was another one of those magical drives through the valleys...going down instead of up. The town of Giron wasn't much of anything, except for cathedral shown here, but check out the views in the following pics.
|The town of Giron lying in the Yungilla valley|
|The highway wraps around that thar hill|
|Cathedral in the center square of Giron|
- Another Trip to Guayaquil
The proper pronounciation of this city is (Why I Keel), but I prefer (Why I Kill). I had to go to GYE this week to finalize the paperwork on my car, since that's where I bought it. It was another one of those sagas of Ecuadorian inefficiencies where time is not of the essence...but your patience is majorly tested. A friend arranged a discounted room for me at the Ramada, located on the waterfront and central to everything, so that was nice. I went down the night before as I didn't want to do the 3 hour down/3 hour back all in one day. Besides, I could get in a little shopping. The next morning, I arranged to meet my dealer and his assistant near the airport. He said his assistant would help me through the entire process...which may take 2-3 hours. GASP!!! So, in my car I followed his asst in his car and joined a lonnnnng line of cars waiting in the street. Here, vendors constantly walked by the cars hawking copying service (they were pushing a cart with printers on them....don't know where the electricity came from!!), as well as kits that would be required of the inspection process I was about to go through. $20 got me a fire extinguisher, medical kit, and two reflective triangles. Every now and then, we would move up maybe 10 cars all at one time. Finally, we got off the street and into 'the corral'...a dirt parking lot comprised of 12 queues (lines) to 12 kiosks...each line had maybe 20 cars in it. That's around 200 cars waiting to be processed for various DMV-like functions!!! It took forever for each car to be processed. Some people resorted to pushing their cars whenever they had to move up one or two spaces. It was also hot and humid out (add that to your mental picture).
After awhile, we noticed it had been a long time since we moved. That's because all the kiosks closed while everyone WENT TO LUNCH!!!!! No, they didn't stagger lunch breaks.....they just shut down! Most cars had to be inspected, me included. Blinkers work, stoplights work, wipers work, no cracked glass, headlights hi/lo work, etc etc. Some didn't pass, and had to be let out of line and out a side exit...this, after waiting 2-3 hours!!! Of course, some were downright idiots not to have checked these things out beforehand. I had to let my car engine cool off so they could take the numbers off of various parts. They did this by applying scotch tape and rubbing the numbers onto the tape, then applied the tape to the paper form.
I'll cut to the chase now. It took FOUR HOURS (in red for a REASON!) to get through this process, pay my $10, and get my 'matricula' (equivilant of car registration) in my name. Even though I was due to drive home, there was no way I was in the mood nor had the energy to do so. So, I stayed a 2nd night at the Ramada.
I wandered over to the Iguana Park to see me some iguanas which I've never seen live before. My gawd those guys are lonnng!! Most were probably 3-4 ft long. They just wandered about the park or hung out in the trees and they didn't give a rip about all the people wandering about them, or snapping fotos of them.
|What...you've never seen an Iguana before??|
Got my shopping done the next day and headed for the hills and back to the sanity of Cuenca by late afternoon on the third day.
|The line waiting for the 'DMV'. And, you thought it was bad in the US!!!|
|Look closely and you'll see a bunch of those critters just hangin out in the tree.|
|Damn pidgeon flew into my shot!|