Today we have only two things on our agenda, going to Mercado Feria Libre, and a Tamale cooking class.So we figure it will be a pretty relaxing day but as you read on, it was not quite as relaxing as expected!Although very fun!
Most gringos we’ve spoken with told us the market is too far to walk to but we decided to walk anyways. Since when do we listen to what people tell us? You really see a place better on foot and we aren’t in a hurry so what the heck! Every wed there is a huge open air market where they sell pretty much everything under the sun! But mostly fruits and veggies and meats, chicken, fish, pork, you name it, it’s there. I saw fruits that I couldn’t identify , it was all so beautiful . I’m not a huge carrot fan but the carrots looked especially yummy! I took some pictures, I’ll post them later. Walking around the market the people watching is so great! The indigenous women of this region are a sight to behold! They all dress in these skirts that are made from a fabric that looks like velvet and they are mostly pleated and full with what looks to be some sort of petticoat underneath . And these beautiful women are all about 4feet tall! But what really stands out about these skirts are the colors! The brightest, most vibrant colors , Purple, Red, blue, green. They are just so pretty. The women are always adorned with jewelry, dangly earrings , gold necklaces and bracelets. And to top it all off they all where these hats that look almost like mini white top hats, sitting precariously on their heads looking like they will tumble off any second. Their dark skin and long braided hair just sets it all off. They really are beautiful women. I tried to get photos of some of them but of course a photo never does justice .
After we had seen enough fresh fruits and veggies and raw meat of every kind we decided we would like to check out the mall that has a version of Target as well as other mall type stores. So off we went, on foot yet again to see if we could find the mall. Scott of course had a good idea of where it was so we headed out in the general direction of the mall. Now is the time I should tell you how difficult and life threatening it can be to cross a street in Ecuador. In this country the laws are a bit different. Cars actually have the right of way, not pedestrians! So you literally take your life in your hands while crossing a street. While driving around with Dano he told us how hard it was when he first began driving here not to instinctually stop when he saw a pedestrian . Stopping for a pedestrian would likely cause an accident here so drivers just don’t even slow down !
We carefully made it to the mall. This was probably about a thirty minute walk. By the time we got there we realized it was time for lunch ! We had decided that we wanted pizza and that surely there would be a food court in the mall. The only food we saw was Kentucky Fried Chicken. We don’t even eat that at home. So we decided to hail a cab and see if the cabby could recommend a good pizzeria . When we got into the cab we asked for pizzeria , por favor, ah, “Pizza Hut”, Omg!! Noooooo! Scott says,” Mas Bueno Pizza?”. He took us to a local favorite , Restorante Pizzeria, La Fornace. And Sweet success! We enjoyed a delicious and “Mas Bueno ” pizza! And let’s not forget the pitcher of sangria! Happy Gringos for sure!
Tummy’s full, we caught a taxi back to our inn. By the way, did I mention a taxi to just about anywhere in Cuenca is no more than 2-3$. So it’s not a bad way to get around although the bus is twenty five cents so that’s not bad either. And there are plenty of busses all the time, anywhere you go. So when we our feet cant take any more walking a taxi is the way to go. By this time we had about 30 minutes to take a quick siesta, then our tamale class was at 3:00. This day was flying by so fast!
We had an email from Sheryl, the host of the tamale class, telling us where her house is and she had included a map but I couldn’t get it to open up on my iPad . So we got a taxi and I told him we needed to go near the Universidad del Azuay. Once we were in that neighborhood I tried so explain that the home, Casa Verkley, is on the corner,( how do you say corner?) of Las Golondrinas y Las Gaviotas. This got us nowhere because there are very few street signs!! Ok, let’s just walk! We can find it!!! Paid the cabby and once again, off we go on foot. Did I mention that in her directions to her home she said it was on an “extremely ” steep hill??? Ugggg! Up, up, up we went! Huffing and puffing our way ! Remember we are at 8200 feet up here! The air is thin! And we finally found Casa Verkley! Yippee! Sweet success!
We met some very nice people at this class, really more of a social time than a class. The Tamales were good but Scott is already trying to devise a tweak in the recipe so he doesn’t have to use all that lard! Good thing we got all that walking in today. So most of the people were newbies to Cuenca but a few had been living here for two or three years. There was a couple from Ontario Canada who brought their two dogs and two cats with them. They gave us some good tips about transporting animals, our cats are not gonna be happy! Then there was a women who lived all over the world and is originally from Peru. Edith is her name, she moved to Cuenca with her boyfriend who is Canadian . They moved here sight unseen! That’s crazy! But they have found a beautiful 2000 square foot furnished apartment for $400 per month. two of the other women at the gathering are the founders of a charitable organization called Hearts of Gold. They support an orphanage here in Cuenca. They raise money for things like school uniforms and collect donations like school supplies. I had read about this organization so I was thrilled to meet them and to be able to donate some money to help with shoes for the kids.
All the people we have gotten to talk to who, like us, have made new homes in a new country has a story. They are always so generous with information and advice. Every person we meet who has made this adventurous move are so pleased with the choice they’ve made and are enjoying life to its fullest. We have learned so much from all the expats we’ve met both here and in Panama as well as other countries we have explored. There’s so much to consider , not only the destination but all the transportation of our belongings, the process of getting permanent residence which varies from place to place. We continue to learn so much about this adventure and all the details can be overwhelming . But it’s a happy, excited overwhelming ! Soooo let’s Let The Adventure Begin!!!!! 🎉🎈😘