Getting to Ecuador is the toughest part of this episode. Our flight was approximately eight hours to Quito via Atlanta, arriving in Quito at 11:30 p.m. We were dragging by then. We opted to spend $70 to use a layover lounge in which we could get a snack, coffee, beverages, use a bathroom (and shower, if needed) and use lounge chairs to try to rest. I’m sure you know how that goes; you may be able to sleep, but not really rest. Our flight to Cuenca was at 5:50 a.m. Monday morning. Easy flight. Arrived in Cuenca at 6:45. However, our landlady was not able to meet us until 9:15, so we had a cappuccino and a snack at the Cuenca airport, then grabbed a cab into town. Unpacked. Walked over to an outdoor café to have lunch and enjoy the afternoon sun and temps–about 70°. We were joined by a couple from Minneapolis whom we met in the Quito airport. We told them what we knew about Cuenca. After that, we just crashed.
This morning we had breakfast at a café located in our building complex. Both Char and I ordered huevos rancheros. We received a $10 voucher for the café, and it covered both of our breakfasts and a couple of cappuccinos.
Then we were off to do our initial shopping. It’s about a 15-minute walk to the local super market where we stocked up on some food and household essentials, bought some cherries from a street vendor (’tis the season), walked to the local farmers market to procure some avocado, dragon fruit, strawberries, grapes, and ginger. Bought a couple bottles of wine on the way home. Then we walked up the street to a little one-man bakery to buy fresh bread. He included with our loaf of bread a slice of a bread he was trying to push. As we Minnesotans say, it wasn’t half bad.
This evening, Char and I relaxed with a cocktail–a Maker’s Mark manhattan– prior to enjoying lentil soup (which Char made this afternoon) and watching the news from the U.S. This year, we brought three liters of whisky along, the max allowed by Ecuador. We learned last year that American Kentucky bourbon is almost impossible to find here, so we brought some along. If you come to visit, please bring more. :)
And, after all of that, I checked out my computer connection for work (for those of you who my not know, I work mornings part-time as a newsletter editor for a Twin Cities’ company), so I am ready to fall into the routine that I followed in St. Paul, except that my Cuenca routine will be snow-free and warm!