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Saturday, August 17, 2013

In my own Back Yard

I bought a motorcycle recently.  Mom....close your jaws.   I had a Yamaha V-Star Tourer 1300cc back in the States.  LOVED that bike.  Powerful and cruised smoothly and easily on the highways.

Here, most motos (as they're called) are no larger than 250cc.  Even the cops rarely have anything larger!!  A 250 is perfectly fine for off-roading, but waaaaay underpowered for the open road which is where I predominantly like to ride.   I found a bike designed for the open road because of its gear-ratio, but still only a 250cc.   It needed a new tire.  Couldn't find the size I needed ANYwhere!!!  So, I resorted to Ebay.   Got a good deal, but the shipping was almost as much as the tire.   Well, to avoid a long story, it took damn near 2 months to get into my hands what with customs, impuestos (import taxes), no notification that it was here, etc etc.   Anyhoo....the tire was installed and along with a few other repairs, I was road-ready a few days ago.

I'm the curious type.  When I see a road that goes off to who-knows-where, I wanna know WHERE.   So, I started out with my own back yard (thus, the title of this blog).

I've gone up the dirt road that passes near my house, but not very far.  I wanted to see WHERE it went and what would I find?   I live at the base of a rather large hill.  I went, up, up, up until my highway-geared, small-engine bike would go no further.  Amazing views.   Very simple houses perched on steep slopes with multi-million dollar (if it were back home) views.  Ridiculous views.

From up there, I could see another road waaaay down below me that I knew went past the one-and-only golf and tennis club of Cuenca.  I've been down THAT road many times, too, but only so far before turning around.   Soooooo....I decided it was time to explore the beyonds of that road, too.

It's about a half mile down the highway from my place, where you turn off to go to the golf'/tennis country club.  The pavement ends and turns into a dirt road riddled with dinner-plate sized potholes...kinda like an acne nightmare.   I drove...ooops....RODE...past the point I've been before.  What a treat!!!   The road snaked through an elongated valley, following a river, flanked by hills to the right and left.  It went on and on and on.  Surely, there would be and end to it.   Nope.

That didn't matter because the scenery was beautiful.  Poor houses, nice houses, adobe houses, houses with laundry strung out on lines and flung over fences to dry, a woman using a garden hose to wash her clothes over a smooth rock, bridges, women doing their laundry in the river, teens walking their horses, a man crafting tables out of the local wood, a city bus, a school bus, tiny little tiendas (stores), a few churches, and even restaurants that made you wonder....'where do the customers come from?'.

I kept wanting to drive further and further (dodging a zillion potholes) in hopes of finding the end of the road.  But, after 10 kilometers (6 miles) I decided to turn around.  I brought my camera with me.  On my return leg I did all the stopping of places I saw on the way in...when I was on my way out.

In the 6 miles I traveled, there were FIFTEEN bridges that crossed the river.  Some were pedestrian-only, some were for cars. Some were modern, some were...ummm....I'm not sure I want to walk across that thing.

So, now....I'm going to let the photos do the talking.  I took so many photos, I ran out of memory on my camera!!

This is my back yard.

The view of Cuenca as I drove higher and higher up the dirt road behind my house.

There were an awful lot of crosses on the way up.  Hmmmm.

Zooming waaaaay in, that's my house with the red tile roof on the left.

A small basic house with a million dollar view.

Another angle of the same house.

Another simple house with a ridiculous view.

Zooming waaaaay in and down to the other road I'm about to travel on.

The moon!!!

A bridge to nowhere.  At least, on the other side there was no road.  Maybe a trail.

Every day is laundry day.

Women washing clothes in the river.

Pulled back from a bridge...the women washing clothes in the river about center of the photo.

A pedestrian bridge.  OSHA did not approve this.

A church that serves the little hamlet.

That is one lonnnng tree timber that provides the support for this bridge.

If you don't go out and explore, you'll never find these treasures.  Someone built themselves a 'castle' deep in the valley I was travelling on.

Another 'pedestrian' bridge.

Dad....I want to be a plant.  I have always felt I was a plant.

GRACIE!!! Get out of my blog!!!


And now, a word from our Sponsor (me)


  1. So excellent Dan! Such a great way to see a great country like Ecuador! Raul & I run around a lot on my motor scooter - into the hills and pueblos that surround Antigua Guatemala. We have a blast and see places we would never see on foot or by car... drive safe, but have a great, adventurous time dude... Abrazos, George & Raul

  2. Quite a neighborhood ya got there, Dano! You sure make me miss Cuenca! Think that castle is for sale?

    Your fan, Chuck

  3. We love that valley. If you keep going about 45 minutes or so you will come to the hot springs pools we went to last year. That road is terrible though. Supposedly it is going to be the new road to Guayaquil after they pave it, but that's just a rumor. Will cut the time to only an hour.

  4. ALWAYS read your blog with great interest and amusement. This time your photos are truly outstanding.. And that castle! Do you think Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria ever visited Ecuador?

  5. You're tempting me my friend, although motor cycles and I have a checkered past. BTW loved the comment about the missing shrub in the church steeple for Cheryl.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing the trip and the great photos!! Can't wait to get there and do some of our own exploring.

  7. Great photos of this adventure. I watch for your new trips and am so excited when you take another road, previously untravelled! Keep riding/driving.

  8. love your blog dano!
    my husband and i are moving to ecuador mid sept.
    would love to contact you for some exploration trips!
    butch and joyce from illinois.


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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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