Yellow Light!

We are now in the first phase of lightening up on restrictions here in Cuenca. After seventy five days of “quedarse en casa” it feels pretty darn good!😊 We still wear masks and keep our distance, but the restaurants and businesses are opening with precautions. Our weather is perfect for outside seating. We visited our first eatery yesterday on the way home from a VERY long walk….the longest yet. It was a warm and sunny day so a cold beer sounded like a VERY good idea. The proprietors were happy to see us back again and we were lucky enough to get the only outside table.

We headed South down Solano Avenue. This is a portion of the old high school built in 1869.

This is a screen shot of the whole building I found online. Pretty impressive but now used for other purposes.

statues of the founding fathers are spaced along the avenue
And grand houses of course.
Bruce and I were just wondering the other day why some young men don’t wash car windows for money at the stoplights like they used to do in Mexico when we drove through the cities. And here they are on Solano Avenue! It beats begging…at least they are providing a service.
A type of street art? Can’t let a blank wall go to waste.
South side street art

The south side of Cuenca is pretty upscale and seems rather suburban to me. We looked at a couple of really nice apartments there but it just didn’t feel like home. Of course, some people love it and plenty of expats live there.

The Yunancay River is just as pretty as our Tomebamba. We had a picnic on the riverbank before heading home.

Vehicle traffic is increasing again and motorcycles are super popular. They can weave in and out of traffic and are cheaper than cars. The restaurants have been using them for their home deliveries during the pandemic so there are hundreds of them on the streets and they can go faster because the streets have been less crowded. You wouldn’t believe how LOUD most of them are. No mufflers and the policía don’t care😖

This was taken before the virus invaded us and is a typical scene….
As is this!

Along our river walk the crews have been busy cutting the very long grass, pruning shrubs and weeding the garden beds. It is so good to see it cared for again.

They use string trimmers and rakes and a truck comes by to take the piles away.
These mounted police patrol the park and their horses had really good eating before the gardening crew came through.
There are tree huggers in Cuenca too!
A typical Ecuadorian family enjoying a walk along the river
These kids and their dog posed for a photo
Projects are starting up again with protocols in place. This is one of the many apartment buildings under construction in the city. Notice the clever use of barrels to make the chute.
This one is along the river in our neighborhood.
Bruce and I have been intrigued by this residence along the river and thought it would be fun to see what it’s like on the inside.
And this is another architecturally interesting house a couple blocks east of us.

I have been baking and cooking a lot lately and we have lots of little markets in the neighborhood to find fruits and veggies, and sometimes homemade bread made with chia and whole grains.

Here we are buying bananas, avocados, radishes, potatoes and tomatoes from these lovely ladies on our street corner.
I wish I had the before picture to show you what these little potatoes looked like before cooking. As you can see, one of them is pink. All the others were speckled pink before cooking and while cooking, smelled like beets. I made a salad with them and guess what? They had a slight beet flavor!
While we’re on the subject of cooking, I baked these brownies in muffin pans. What makes them special is black beans are used in place of flour. And they are delicious!

I do most of the cooking and baking here in the apartment for Bruce and myself and also for my adopted Venezuelan family, but occasionally we order in from a restaurant. Now that the restrictions are lifting, we may start to eat out again once in a while. I think we will start with restaurants that have outdoor seating, to be safer and also, its more pleasant I think.🤔 We are also able to have delivered things like frozen fish and shrimp, sourdough bread and dried fruit.

These people deliver quality products and in a professional manner, meaning they show up when they say they are going to which is not always the case😏

The long awaited light rail transit system is operational! Many people thought it was a big waste of money, but I have heard nothing but good reviews so far. Right now, they are letting the public ride for free because they are still running some tests and they want to educate the public. There are no city buses running yet so the ridership is high on the trains. They have blocked off some of the seats but are allowing passengers to stand??! Too close to each other! Bruce and I are choosing to walk everywhere. We are not even taking the very cheap taxis. The tranvía will only cost 35 cents and half that for seniors 😊.

There she is! Beautiful, shiny and brand spanking new!

When we first arrived in the city to live, in January, there was no one begging on the streets…no homeless. But that has changed since the pandemic. I think most Ecuadorians are okay because they have extended family to help each other, but the refugees that Ecuador took in from Venezuela are in big trouble. Whole families are seen begging along the major streets. At first we filled our pockets with dollar bills and handed them out, but there are just so many, day after day. So now we carry smaller change and also have decided to concentrate our giving on just one family. I will write about them later.

This man is always here on our way to SuperMaxi and he is so kind and gentle, so we always give him something.
We asked if we could take his picture and payed him extra for it.
This store is next to SuperMaxi, our local supermarket. It is pricey, but we have purchased a few things that we couldn’t find elsewhere. Quite a contrast, I know, from the previous photo.
In a recent post I mentioned buying this table for our entrance way and here it is in our apartment .
Now we need a painting above it. As soon as I can get the supplies I will make us one!
And here is our new little bench that sits right inside our entrance door. One piece at a time we are making this apartment our home.

Well, I seem to be experiencing a little technical problem trying to add more photos for this post so I will quit right here for now and write a shorter post in a few days. I hope you all are healthy and happy and enjoying a few more freedoms every day as we are here in Cuenca.
Love to all❤️

3 comments

  1. Sharon panb
    We are so glad you posted just now as we were wondering how Bruce and you were doing. You are probably aware that restrictions in Jefferson County are gradually lifting, as is the case to differing degrees in all state counties. Downtown Seattle was trashed during rioting and looting last night after an impressive peaceful march in protest against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. This country is experiencing a “sad state of affairs” between national leadership intent on promoting differences and unfounded conspiracy theories, pre-existing economic/racial inequities laid bare by the pandemic and, of course, the uneven handling of the pandemic. On a positive note, we are enjoying as much time outside as possible (the garden is really coming along and I am having a great time!), we are fortunate to see Carrie regularly (she and her husband Clayton are doing well), and we have so much for which to be grateful! Thank you for posting.

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  2. So glad to hear from you and learn that you and Bruce are enjoying life and being safe. Your blog is so informative and interesting and Bruce’s photos really tell the story. Thanks so much for sharing. We will probably go up to Washington in a month. Really looking forward to it. Even though our scenery is far from shabby, a change is always welcome.

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