Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Three years.......and I'm still smiling!!

Three years ago today, I left the US to start over.   I like to say it was the first day of the rest of my life.  Vilcabamba was my first home for 14 months.   Afterwards, I lived in a small town outside of Cuenca called Paute for 15 months.   I was housesitting for a friend for 90 days while she left for the US to work and had the intention to move to Cuenca.   Sometimes things don't go as planned and I wound up staying in that very lovely town for another year.

On the first of June this past year, I moved to Cuenca.   Each place has given me so many wonderful experiences.   Vilcabamba is beautiful.   Paute was amazing in the way the locals accepted me into their fold with the patience to listen to my Tarzan spanish and eventually feeling comfortable enough to correct me.

I felt I would be "selling out" to move to Cuenca as I wanted to have a decidedly Ecuadorian experience.   Cuenca turned out to be a much larger Paute with tienda owners and neighbors who would call me by name in my Ecuadorian neighborhood.

I want to celebrate by adding some of my favorite photos from the past few years.   I could add more but everyone has to have a limit!    This has been my life here in Ecuador for three years today.   I hope you enjoy!
My first official residence in Vilcabamba

My first encounter with roadside roasted pig.
This isn't the REAL equator.   The real one was a short distance away.  I have a photo, too, but my daughter is much prettier.

Waterfall within view of the hotel in Banos.
Fun time was had by my daughter and me when we rented a dune buggy in Banos to view the waterfalls!
Otavalo market.   This is the largest in South America.

Incan ruins in Cuenca.
Bear and Amber seemingly saying goodbye to their old life.
Burning effigies in Paute.
Inside of the "new" cathedral in Cuenca which took 100 years to build.
Dancer at the Paseo del Ninos Christmas Eve 2013
Horseback riding through the rainforest
The mystical Cajas.

A beach so big a little dog seems miniscule.
Great friends!
Accidentally ran into this amazing and small hostal right on the beach.  $15 a night.
Blue-footed boobies!  Found on Isla La Plata!