Saturday, September 4, 2010

The First Thirty Days

We have been here for thirty days now. One month down and two to go in our penthouse apartment. We'll be starting the search for a new home soon. We'd like to move closer to the river and to the center of town (Parque Calderon area). That way we can walk to most everything and won't have to take as many taxi rides.

We are planning a trip to the beach (Montanita) for two weeks starting on Sept. 13th. A realtor friend of ours has been featured in an upcoming House Hunters International show to air on Sept. 21st. The house hunt is featuring the coastal towns of Ecuador. He has invited many of his friends to a HHI party to view the episode, which we'll be doing at a penthouse condo in the beach city of Salinas.

We met some new expats at the bank on Friday and saw them again Friday night at Zoe's, which hosts a weekly gathering spot for expats. There were folks there who have just moved here like us, and folks doing a fact-finding trip before making their big move. Interestingly enough, I actually met someone from my high school! I've never met anyone from my high school before and here I meet someone in Ecuador from Morningside High in Inglewood, California. What a small world! He was two years ahead of me, but we sure had fun reminiscing.

So for the first thirty days, here is the good and bad, from our perspective:

The Good
Cuenca is as affordable as we had hoped for. We were able to save money last month, and expect to do the same each month hereafter.

The weather is not cold anymore like it was in the beginning. Our days are very nice with mixed sun and clouds, but always walkable weather.

We're continuing with our walking and the steps up to town are getting a little easier. Our breathing is improving.

We found a fantastic radio station to listen to. It plays music that we would listen to back home; some of the songs are in Spanish and some are in English, and some are instrumental. The DJ speaks in Spanish and is very clear. The station is located at noventa siete punto tres (97.3fm).

The water is so good, clean and pure. It tastes better than bottled water and is safe to drink.

The Bad
The water pressure is always questionable, and hot water is dependent on the water pressure. So you're never sure if you'll be able to take a shower when you want or wash the dishes when you want. As they say, bring your patience with you when you come to Ecuador.

The taxi rides are not for the faint of heart! I find that I can't watch ahead or I'll probably get carsick. They start fast, stop fast, swerve fast. They honk at everyone who is in their way. But everyone seems to know this and know where everyone else is on the road so there aren't any accidents. Amazing!

Other Notes
The language barrier is always a concern, but we are managing. I am contuining my self-study in Spanish with my book and my Rosetta Stone. I'm so glad I started this before coming here. We will eventually take Spanish lessons once I am through with my book.

We haven't taken advantage of the many activites you can do here yet because of my concentrating on learning Spanish and our accomplishing our administrative requirements. However, we're looking forward to our upcoming beach trip and are taking note of other trips we'd like to take in the future.

That's it for now.



  1. Thanks for the update Patty. Karen and I continue to perform research on Cuenca and hopefully can visit the city within the next 3 to 6 months.

    Perhaps we could arrange a Skype talk so Karen and I could ask some more questions. My Skype number is david.akins52

  2. Hello Pat and Mike,

    Got your address from Jim Miller who was with us on Gary Scott's January Tour. Since then we have returned to Ecuador twice, in March to Cuenca and Salinas and back to Salinas in June. We prefer the coast and almost bought Mike Sager's house, but backed out due to security issues and break-ins in the area that weren't disclosed to us.

    We will be watching the HHI broadcast with interest. The penthouse you will be watching from is probably David Smith's, a very interesting English guy. We were there with Mike and Andrea to watch Mike and his band practice.

    Since Gary and Merri Scott advise not to go south of Manta, we are returning to the mid coast in October to look but have not ruled out Salinas entirely.

    I was trying to send Pat a facebook invite but couldn't figure out how to do so from her facebook badge. Please advise.

    Nice website BTW!

    Rebecca Hollifield

  3. Dear Mike.
    I just wanted to thank you for visiting our Phoenix Tower last evening and we enjoyed your company and the other guests too, I hope you enjoyed the Show on HGTV, with Hector and Kimberly Quintana and Mike Sager.
    For your information many of the panoramic shots were taken from The PHOENIX Penthouse levels.
    We have 90% sold out at the Tower now with over 9 Nationalities from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, England, Estonia, Switzerland, USA, Italy,Germany and one Ecuadorian Doctor from USA too, please see for more information this link

    A special thanks also to Rebecca and Eddie Hollifield who will be back in a few weeks time, we really enjoyed playing with our Blues/Rock Group for you ,The Crazy Wolves , (Los Lobos Locos) and yes I am still blowing in the key of A,C,D,G Straight and Cross harp to get those bluesy, liquid bends in the keys.
    PS Please dont forget to bring us a DVD of the film you made on us live.

    Take care

    David Smith
    Phoenix Developers