Just for posting this I know I risk being pelted with snowballs by all my friends who are braving the snowstorms in New England but take heart…the sun IS shining somewhere! The past two weeks in Cuenca, or more, have been very rainy and I felt the ol’ SAD kicking in. For those of you who are not blessed with SAD it’s an acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s like a bad case of the blues…for me anyway. It’s definitely milder since I came here because the sun does shine more than it doesn’t and it’s very green. However, some former residents of Seattle who make their home in Cuenca say it reminds them of that drizzly city. Suffice it to say someone told me we are in the wet season as of mid-January. I believe them!
Tripadvisor and I have a little vacation research party after deciding sun is what we need, because even Chet was feeling a bit ho-hum. I booked us in at the EcoLodge and off to the bus we go. It’s an overnight bus leaving at 10pm from Cuenca’s Terminal Terrestre. The bus is 8 hours they say. They being the ticket agents who leave out some crucial information. The bus trip isn’t 8 hours directly there. It’s more like a 5 hour trip with a middle of the night (or should I say wee hour of the morning) stop at immigration that took 2.5-3 hours standing in a HUGE line, so our trip really took 9 hours. Someone told me that it sometimes takes only 5 minutes. I think they might have been on something but… If one were to drive, well that would be shorter but from what I hear the rigamarole of going through immigration still makes the trip 6 plus hours. However, we were not discouraged.
We arrived at 7a.m quite groggy and took a mototaxi to our home for the next few days. We overpaid for the taxi, the guy charged us $4 USD when it should have been only S/2. That’s 2 Soles. Basically it’s 3 of our dollars for every one of theirs, our favor. So our taxi driver really took advantage of our early morning-suspended-animation stupor, we paid him the equivalent of $12 for a 3 minute ride when it should only have been about .60 cents. We had to laugh, there won’t be a next time!
Now normally when we’ve arrived at a hotel early they come up with some reason why we cannot get into our room right away…the other guests are in there, it’s not clean, we look dirty…etc., etc., however not at the EcoLodge. They promptly showed us our room, and this is in high season. There are only 7 rooms in this sustainable, environmentally friendly place, constructed almost entirely of bamboo and stone. Plus, they let us stay all day with no charge on the day of our departure. Whoot, whoot! We liked this place.
Brilliant sunshine, great food, a therapeutic massage by a masseuse who turned out to be a sister and regular pioneer! All in all a great, relaxing retreat! Mancora is filled with a lot of young (A LOT) mostly European backpackers but staying a block over from the main drag really helped. We didn’t hear any of the partying that Mancora can also be known for. Just forewarning you. Yes, Ecuador has beaches too, but we wanted to try something different and be assured of great weather. I had heard that Mancora abuts a desert so I knew rain would be unlikely. Yeah, no rain the whole 4 days. Last night we hopped on the bus again at midnight. The immigration ordeal only took an hour this time. Not too shabby. Will we return? I vote yes. I think Chet does too but for now he’s taking a much deserved siesta.
Corn cakes with parmesan cream sauce