Friday, July 30, 2010


Good news, we are off to pick up the keys for the apartment we bought this am. After a small, almost delay things have ironed themselves out and we are on time for delivery of the unit.
Of course now the work begins.
It feels like it has been a long time, as we closed a month ago and let the previous owner stay till the end of July to square away their new accommodations.
Stay tuned for the renovation process. Another update it looks like we will start construction on our house in October. We are very excited about this, the builder we want has agreed to do the project. This too will be shared.

Well enjoy your day where ever you are, signing off from the southern andes........J&D

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another thing to bring and info

I just thought I would mention to any of you future residents an add on to your "should bring down list".
It is a good idea to bring down like 3 years worth of medical records (nice to have old blood work to compare and tid bits you do not know or remember for your doctor, dates etc..)
If you have any sort of joint replacement I would bring down a fresh x-ray film so they can compare to any new x-ray. Also if you take a spill they will know how it should look when they repair it (just kidding).
We also brought dental records. It is far better to have this info and not need it than need it and not have. At a minimum I would bring x-ray pics (as new as possible).

And an FYI to anyone who does not know that there are great maps and bus route books available at the info center off Park Calderon. Look for the yellow circle with the "i" in the center.
They have several maps to choose from (ask for them if you do not see). Some show just the historical area and some show the whole of Cuenca. Ask to see more if they only show you one so you can what is best for you.
Ask for the bus route booklet (if they have any). This lists the Bus route numbers and the stops (listed by road). If you have a map and know some streets you will find the routes (this is for the person(s) who is/are in Cuenca for extended periods who know some roads and general city areas or any of you fellow residents who did not know this was available).

Well hope this helps someone out there.
Hasta Luego............J&D

Dr. Cesar Toral

Well we went to the doctor for our first visit. After asking around and deciding who,we went with Dr. Toral. He gives off a feeling of comfort, confidence, and well being. I have not had that feeling since my primary doc in the US. He spends all the time he needs not rushing in and out.
We went to see him because we were due for a check up/blood work.
I had not had anything since 2008 just prior to our departure from the States. Donna also had a bone density test, and hip x-ray. We both had full blood work and I had a PSA test, and we both had a urine test.
Total cost for all tests and the 2 Dr visits (first was consult second was reading of results) was $311 clams.
I was expecting to shell out closer to say $500 not knowing what to expect. We had our blood work and Donna's bone test at 8:30 am out by 9:10 am. Went for x-ray at 11 am out at 11:40 am. (x-ray dept was busy). Picked up our test results on our way back to the Dr office at 5 pm and then went for our appointment.
We brought our medical records from the US also so he could review and compare to previous tests.
We were given clean bills of health (he told me to try to loose a couple pounds. He should have seen me in 2008, gordo!)
We are very pleased with Dr Toral and would recommend him to anyone in the Cuenca area seeking quality medical services. He will be our Dr during our lives here.
Info: Dr. Cesar Toral (Board certified in the US and a professor and the Universidad del Azuay)
Av. Federico Proano 2-30 (is 1st building from corner at Consultorios Santa Ines)
284 0070 email:
Dr Toral works out of Santa Ines and The Hospital Del Rio.

Lab Work: Anyone looking for a nice lab or looking for a Bone Density testing location we recommend Laboratorio De Endocrinologia
Dr. Marcelo Cordero Loyola
Av. Agustin Cueva 1-23 y Av 12 de Abril (right across from the hummingbird fountain on the corner where the University compound begins)
283 0489

We found this to be a very professional lab and blood work with a light touch.
The nice thing as a bonus is the Kook is a short hop to reload after a night of fasting for your tests.

Until next time..............J&D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Look

Its the same story just in a new package, big print is good.

Stay tuned and thanks for watching (reading).

Hasta Luego.....J&D

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trip to the Coast

Wednesday I went to Guyaquil with a good friend to pick up some family coming to visit. We took a bus fom Cuenca to the coast, cost $8 bucks each. It was similar to a plane ride, assigned seating (number on ticket), the "cockpit" had a door isolating the pilot and co-pilot, and an in-flight movie (really 2).
The co-pilot wipes the windshield when it fogs up and unlocks the bathroom for anyone in need.
It was quite an experiance. Along the way people would walk up to the door, knock and the bus would pull over and drop off said person where they wanted. Likewise people flagged down the bus and got on from said town headed west to the coast.
We went through Canar province which was all new to me. When we arrived we traveled over the Cajas mountains into Cuenca so it was nice seeing a whole new area. At one point we entered the cloud forest, the elevation where the hot air from the coast and the cool mountain air collide. This is where the co-pilot proved his worth. The window fogged constantly and he would wipe it off each time. From our seats it looked like the road was not visable but we were above the driver and we are still here so I guess he could see it. That looks like one stressfull job. The roads are narrow, cows, cars, people all on the road, in the fog, crazy.
It was nice as we went through each town Juan knew right where we were and would tell me the names of each place. Seeing the transition from altitudes is really something. It is really like traveling to different countries, above the tree line, all the way to the tropical coast.
Once we got to Guyaquil (4 1/2 hours, felt like 8) we went to the airport where we found out the plane was delayed until 1am (was supposed to arrive at 10:30pm).
Luckily Juan has family in Guyaquil and we hooked up with them and they showed us around the city, we had "Morocho" and saw alot (I like the Morocho in Cuenca better). Went back to their place and crashed for 1 hour (got to the house at 11pm). Went back to the airport at 12 and waited for the family.
At the airport we met the shuttle driver Juan had arranged to drive us back to Cuenca through the Cajas.
At a bit after 2 am we loaded up and headed to Cuenca. That was a wild ride too. Coming up in the dead of the am. We stopped someplace high up at around 3-3:30 for coffee at a "truck stop", which was a house on the side of the road with a shop and place to order food.
Recharged we continued on. With the construction of the new road we had to stop twice as the road is only 1 lane. At the first as we sat for around 15 minuites. We we got the all clear the truck a few up in line just sat, everyone pulled around him. I guess he fell asleep. The second stop was for at least 30 min but felt like longer. We could see the morning glow coming over the mountain as we sat there.
Finally got home at 7am. What a trip. It was great fun even though it took a day to recover.
It was quite a sight seeing the day begin up in the Cajas.
Wish I had my camera to video the trip. Oh well.
(Donna stayed home with the cats)

Until next time..............J&D

Cafe Bound.wmv

A walk to the Kook from the east side. Real time 1 hour.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Where does the time go?????

Wow, like a blur much time has passed since we have seen many of you. When we lived in town we saw everyone with regularity but since our move we miss the unscheduled visits.

We have been busy doing various things, land planning, vehicle reg, house/container. All small but added up a bunch of running around. Like a friend has said "Busy doing Nothing" but not really nothing most days. It is rough being "retired".

Just saying "Hi" and we will see you soon.

Soludos...............Jaon and Donna

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4th

Yesterday we went to the Hosteria Uzhupud in Paute. This was our first trip outside of Cuenca so when we heard about it we wanted to go see a new place.

It was a great day to sit back, relax, have a chat, and enjoy the good food, good company, and nice location.

The grounds are very nice and sprawling. We wandered around after lunch checking it out.

This is only a peak. There are many walking paths, greenhouse, tons to see. I took a ton of pics but these give you a sense of the place.

It was a nice day and we enjoyed going to see Paute. I still cannot believe we live in the Andes.
Hope everyones 4th was a nice day filled with, good friends, and good weather and good food.
Until next time...............J&D

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Our container arrived to the house yesterday around 4:30. I have to say it was a smooth process once it got to Ecuador. It was the 3 weeks stuck in Panama that was the killer only on the ground 12 days before we got it in Cuenca. Everything is safe and sound (we packed our own stuff) now sorting and setting up begins. Good thing we did not buy a dinning room set!
Also plan on a couple grand in fees/handling charges after your stuff gets to Ecuador. These fees are not included in the shipping cost.
After looking at everything I do not think we would have been able to buy what we brought for the money it cost to get it here. It is a personal choice to ship or not but do not be affraid to do it, just hire the right person to handle your shipment in Ecuador.
Until next time..........J&D