Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monthly Expenses

These are our expenses for the month of August. I think this will be the norm +/- a little either way if we do some day trips or eat out more.

Food------------------------$495.68 (we get most of our produce at the co-op)
we shop at the co-op, supermaxi,coral, and bocotti for meat
fuel for truck,bus/taxi,hardware,flowers,artisean markets
will not be a monthly thing
water-$5.85 electric-$21.36
monthly condo fee for rental unit
Donna goes swimming 1 a week at the university pool
Donna again
yup, Donna
eye exam, not a monthly item
prepaid phone cards(2 phones)
day trips,long weekends

We do not have a maid. I will seperate when we eat out next month. I just rolled into the food amount this month.
We eat in mostly and shop weekly for food.

I would say we are on the low end, meaning what you read about living on $500 a month is hogwash. It is very affordable but most of what you read on some of those site promoting Cuenca and monthly expenses are certainly not current.

Road Trip soon.................headed to Vilcabamba.
Stay Tuned

Sunday, August 29, 2010


This place is a must see for anyone here in the Cuenca area. For $3 bucks a head you get a private tour of the grounds and the production process, and chance to see plants you can no longer see in their natural setting.

There are over 4000 species of orchids in Ecuador and this place has over 1/2 that number on the grounds.

Some fragant, some not, all cool. I discovered that the vanilla bean comes from an orchid while on this tour.

This you actually see flipped 180 degrees but I saw this face and it reminded me of the "Mothman Prophecies" a must see movie with a erie vibe (based on true events).

Last but not least the "Monkey Face". It is amazing to see these plants and I am glad we went.
I am sure we will go again.
The facility is located on te road to Gualiceao about 25 min outside Cuenca. They have many varieties for sale along with other nic nacs and books about the orchid, ample parking also.
Get out there and see the sites.
Until next time.............J&D

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chris's B-day

Chris is a wonderful guy and we are happy to be able to call him, and Jen our friends. Chris we wish you many happy tomorrows and look forward to both of your company in the coming years.

Happy Birthday.................J&D

Thursday, August 12, 2010

first time.........

About 10 minutes ago we experienced our first earthquake/tremor that we could feel. It lasted about 15 seconds. The windows were vibrating, all the neighborhood dogs barked, the cats ran around. We could feel everything vibrating a tiny bit then it was over.
Having never been from a fault area Donna and I were a but numb to it until it ended and I said, "That was an earthquake".
Yet another new experience here in Ecuador.

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

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dragons Blood

This is "Sangre de Dragon" or Dragons Blood. You might remember reading about it when Chuck went to the Amazon (http://watsontravels.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html)
It is sap from a tree in the jungle. This little vile can be had for a couple bucks in the San Fransisco market. Look for the woman selling all sorts of traditional, natural medicines and various trinkets to ward off evil spirits.
I was somewhat skeptical until I used it. Only a small drop on a cut knuckle and it is healing fast.
I had the cut for a few days, repeatedly hitting it again and again, reopening it. After an application of Dragons Blood it felt better and low and behold scabbed over during the night.
You put a small drop on the spot and rub it in. It almost looks like soap as it turns white as you rub. It dries clear and is like a liquid skin that protects the area.
I am now a believer and will reach for this the need arises.

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

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Here is a quick look at Ingapirca. It is a really cool place. The drive there is quite an adventure too.

We hope you enjoy it.

As always, until next time...................J&D

Sunday, August 8, 2010

any day of the week.

In most conversations, especially now the weather seems to pop up. The rainy and cool days, people huddled up praying for the sun.

Well I can tell you first hand after living in a place where the weather is the same every day, week after week, no rain to speak of and blistering heat, we will take this weather any day of the week. Of course you will notice we did break down and buy a heater.

In Aruba, if you were located away from the breeze your only reprieve was constant a/c. We hate a/c (intermittently it is fine but not constant). You get to a point where there is nothing left to take off, and your still hot. We had a constant breeze and it was still an oven.

Here in Cuenca you just buy a nice alpaca sweater, maybe a heater and fan to circulate the air, a blanket and you are nice and toasty. We are also happy to see the rain, though I have said when is it going to stop, after living with almost none for 2 years it is nice to have it back.

So when you are shivering, cradling that warm cup of tea or coffee remember this weather is
by far the best. Though it does wear on us on occasion, we will take it.......any day of the week.

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