I’m still catching up, here’s March!!

OK, here I am again for the second week of catching up. This time I will share what our March looked like.
We started the month off by spending four days and three nights at Hacienda Chan Chan, a combination bed and breakfast and family-run dairy farm. It is located just outside of Cuenca near the small, rural community of Chiquintad. It was a forty-minute ride north from Cuenca on Bus 26, another exciting bus excursion for us.
We were met at the bus stop in town by our hosts Julie and Luke Martin, together with their five children, and shuttled the five-kilometer drive up into the hills to their farm.
*11Ecuador3-8-16HaciendaChanChan
Calling Hacienda Chan Chan a B&B is somewhat of a misnomer, because you can have not only breakfast but lunch and dinner as well – all at an extremely affordable rate and all very delicious. But breakfast was my favorite. Did I mention that Hacienda Chan Chan is a working dairy farm? And you know what that means; fresh cream for our coffee, fresh yogurt with our granola and fresh butter slathered on fresh hot homemade cinnamon bread, what a way to start the day!
*4Ecuador3-8-16HaciendaChanChan
From our cabin we walked down to the Chan Chan River, which is located at roughly 9,186 feet elevation. That line of snaking trees at the bottom of this vally is the river.
*61Ecuador3-8-16HaciendaChanChan
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We also hiked up in the mountains to the upper portion of the farm. The property goes up to an elevation of roughly 10,990 feet. The cabin we stayed at is roughly in the middle of the elevation between the two.
*19Ecuador3-8-16HaciendaChanChan
On the way down we saw two boys mending fences.
37Ecuador3-8-16HaciendaChanChanBoy
We also saw where they were falling trees and then hand hewing the fallen trees into lumber. Once the lumber was ready it was taken down the hill to where they are building a house across the road. Notice how the lumber was taken down the hill.
38Ecuador3-8-16HaciendaChanChanMan*
This definitely wasn’t a 5-star resort, it had a nice, cozy cabin feel. But if you want to take a hike or swing in a hammock, this is the place. It even has wi-fi if you want it.
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*11Ecuador3-9-16Lodging
The first Cuenca Writers Conference was a smashing success. There were 50 spots available and all but one was taken. Cuenca seems to be a hotbed of artists from painters to street performers to theater to musicians to writers. All these artists have created a vortex here that pulls all this creative energy into the center of Cuenca.
Bookstore
We had 2 ½ days of sessions, covering topics from blogging, developing characters, poetry, writing dialog and so much more. Both Mike and I presented during the conference. You could just feel the crackling of electricity as all these creative people mingled and networked and learned.
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MikeSusanPresentation
Oh, and did I mention the great food. This was the presentation of our appetizer at the opening cocktail party. With such success, the conference for next year has already been scheduled and now the preparation begins.
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Mike went back to Austin, Texas for a reunion of people who helped found The National Network of Runaway and Youth Services some 40 years ago. I decided to stay home as, although I knew many of the people, I didn’t have the history with them Mike did. I wanted him to enjoy this time just reliving all those memories that meant so much to him. He also spent several days in Dallas visiting with people he used to work with when he worked for Sprint.
4TX3-25-16NNRYS Reunion
3TX3-25-16NNRYS Reunion
2TX3-25-16NNRYS Reunion
1TX3-25-16NNRYS Reunion
From the looks of the pictures he brought back they couldn’t have had more perfect weather.
Until next time,
Abrazos

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