June And July In Beautiful Ecuador

June turned out to be a real bust. We were supposed to go to the coast and spend a few days with Mike’s brother and his family but the day before they left we both got sick. And that nasty bug hung on for about three weeks so we didn’t do too much. We did attend a two-day Book Marketing Boot Camp put on by our friend Lynne Klippel and got lots of ideas for promoting Mike’s books. He has the first book done in his new four-book series and is working on the second. We probably won’t release them until after the first of the year so he can be well on his way on the third book.
The only other thing I did besides the boot camp was the monthly Girls’ Spa Day in Baños, just a 20 minute bus ride from my apartment, at the cost of 12.5¢ each way. This isn’t the FAMOUS one which is hours away, but it is just as fun and relaxing. 
July started off with the A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT: “Bringing Dreams of Hope to The Coast”, an event put on by the Hearts of Gold Foundation to help raise funds for the earthquake relief. We simply love life here spending time with good friends …


… and meeting so many “interesting” people.
The Cuenca Lunch Bunch meets the first Wednesday of every month at a different restaurant to just catch up, meet new friends, connect with old ones and simply enjoy each other’s company. This month we celebrated a birthday complete with cake, candles and bubbles. 
We are in “winter” now and the days have been AWESOME. Here is a view from our dining room looking towards Turi (that white area up the mountain). The Turi viewpoint offers a fantastic view of all of Cuenca and the surrounding mountains.
We were lucky to find someone in Cuenca, as good as Sandy Scerbo back in Blairsville, to cut our hair. Here is Mike with Ligia. For $5 he gets a haircut and beard trim along with having his ears and eyebrows trimmed. Quite a bargain. Best of all, it’s right next door to Tutto Matto’s Pizzeria, our favorite pizza place in Cuenca. We schedule our haircuts around the hours they are open!


On these beautiful winter days we love to take long walks. Today we walked down to Parque de la Madre to see what was going on. There was some sort of event in the park with tents set up and people selling things. Here is Mike relaxing on a bench in the park. Some of the benches and statues in the park were carved on-site from the trees growing there.
I mentioned earlier our monthly Girls’ Spa Day at Baños. Here are some pictures from our July trip. I’m sure glad I was behind the camera this day and you don’t have to see me in my bathing beauty attire!


Cuenca Expats Magazine put on a trip to Hillary Nature Resort & Spa, near the coast and the Peruvian border, a 5-hour bus ride from Cuenca. It is an all-inclusive resort, and while it was beautiful, sitting up in the hills on hundreds of acres with views from almost everywhere, it isn’t the type of place Mike and I normally choose to vacation. But we are glad we went as it gave us a feel of the area and who knows, we may be back to visit some of the attractions around.
The scenery driving to and from Hillary was very diverse and at times simply breathtaking
They are building a dam and it was fascinating to drive so close and see some of the construction. Ecuador is in the process of building 10 dams throughout the country to provide hydroelectric power as it tries to wean itself away from fossil fuels.
July ended with our traveling to Quito to present at the International Living 2016 Ecuador conference. We were presenting on our first year in Cuenca. We titled our presentation “The Good, The Bad and The Unexpected – Our First Year In Cuenca.” We were doing a play on words of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and explained at the beginning there wasn’t really anything Bad, just different and there wasn’t anything Ugly but definitely Unexpected.
This was the second year we presented and I am told it gets easier. I am one who, in college, started and dropped speech 6 times. To be standing up in front of approximately 300 people and presenting is truly outside my comfort zone. But I did it and, actually, I was much more comfortable than last year.
This is a picture I took of the auditorium that I played around with in Photoshop and turned my photo into a pastel drawing. The black area in the middle is the backdrop where the stage was.

We were “the Cuenca Expats” and enjoyed our time at the conference talking to the many diverse people interested in retiring in Ecuador, and especially those considering Cuenca. We also were able to get to know the people from International Living better and find out more about the organization. We are hoping to visit them at their home office in Waterford, Ireland next year! 

Until next time,


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