Monday, May 2, 2011

Back in Cuenca after 11 months

Hard to believe, but almost a year has passed since we visited Cuenca. Now we are back for one month for our "second look" - living more as expats than as tourists to see if we can adjust to would be "regular" life down here as a retiree.

Air Fare here was fairly reasonable from LAX - about $750 per person round trip (on COPA airlines)  to Quito and then another $110 or so per person from Quito to Cuenca on LAN airlines.All flights were on schedule and uneventful (which is a very good thing to say about airline flights). We had rented a condo for the month from a gringo in Texas named Linda Mock. She had a person pick us up from the airport which was very comforting when you arrive in a foreign country at 7:30PM. He was kind enough to find an open restaurant for us (we were starving) before driving us to the condo located on Avenida de las Americas. His name is Juan Perez and he was more than helpful and accommodating, explaining that he  has a business here supporting expats and their needs.

The condo, billed as "mini-penthouse" turned out to be beautiful with a 270 degree view of the city and mountains.It has high security, so not sure of the safety of the neighborhood yet, but so far seems fine. Weather here has been cloudy most of the day, but Pam and I like the cool breezes. We also need to get used to the high altitude (8200 feet)mainly by taking things slowly until we literally get our breaths.

We made our first trip to the major grocery store here called "super-maxi." Problem was we didn't have a car to get the groceries back to the condo, but hey- no problem. The check out woman instructed a young man to get us a taxi, so he took out our grocery cart, hailed a taxi, put the groceries in the trunk, and $2 later the taxi driver completed the process by relocated them to the front stoop of our condo.No sweat! The grocery prices were very reasonable, except for some American made imported products some of which cost more here than in Southern California.

Right now I am enjoying a glass of Merlot (for medicinal purposes - to help with the altitude adjustment) and to help evaluate my life style change and the direction it will be taking as I head toward retirement.

More later.....

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