Saturday, May 30, 2015

May Walking -- Part 2, Pachacuti

(All of the pictures here were taken at the Central Bank Inca gardens in Cuenca.

Huayna Capac, Pachacuti's grandson, lived here, in the 2nd largest Incan City, after Cusco, Peru.)

This month  taught us more about "Pachacuti".  This word is not only the name of a great Inca, but now also can define an event that changes your entire life.  For the Incas, their Pachacuti was the arrival of the Spaniards.

A personal Pachacuti could be related to a marriage, divorce, birth, death, or another major life-altering event. A Pachacuti could be a massive, life-changing natural disaster, like a huge earthquake or tsunami.  It's as serious as a heart attack or 'the C word' (cancer) or as simple as the final word, 'good-bye'.

You can read more about the man, Patchacuti ('Earth Shaker') here.  He gets credit for expanding the Inca Empire, big-time.

Friday, May 29, 2015

May 2015 Walking -- Cuenca, part 1

Our travels took us all over Cuenca again this month.

We never tire of the beauty of our City!

Street scenes include beautiful buildings with lots of interesting details.

Flowers are blooming this month, as always.

Street vendor making and selling empanadas.

We got a kick out of watching this little girl reading the newspaper.

The tail-end of a demonstration down Calle Larga.

Fun party shop.

A fun window display.

Chilly, wet weather this month called for soup!
Homemade and delicious.

More street scenes.

Always seems to be construction somewhere.

Love the name  of this new cafe!  ROXY!  Located in the old Black Olive location.  The Olive  has moved and slated to open again soon.

A high school celebration.

A collection of locks at the river.

At the 10 of Aug market

More fun street art.  Part 2 is next.

Happy Birthday, Ruth!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Walking in April -- Cuenca, part 2 and Pachamama

Several things this month to share...

We have more pictures from our April walking adventures and a little about Pachamama (Mother Nature).

First, we'll share some pics. 

We're still discovering  new-to-us street art.  Lots of talented artists here.

April flowers blooming.

One day we got an extreme storm, complete with lightening and thunder, and a doublé rainbow!  What a show!

Beautiful sunsets and sunrises, too.


Another day we took a ride to Tarqui, right outside Cuenca.  A fun country scene...

We've always had a healthy respect for Pachamama (Mother Nature).  Growing up in the San Francisco área, we appreciate how fast nature can change, whether it is an earthquake or rip tides on the beach.
Yesterday, we experienced a 5.3 earthquake in Cuenca.  Lots of rock n roll, no damage or injuries here, but it did get our attention.  Out of habit, the first thing we always do when we feel a quake is locate our shoes!  And, it prompted us to kind of review stuff we might need in an on hand, an exit plan, wáter/ food, etc.
Ecuador is Earthquake Country, just like San Francisco. Cuenca is not as risky for big ones, but you never know, especially if you travel to those áreas more at risk,  North to Quito, for example.
Pachamama also showed her forcé with recent rains, mudslides and flooding of the rivers.  One river rose so rapidly it caught an 86 year old woman doing laundry at the river and swept her away.  Her body has yet to be found.  Yesterday we read that a rescue team of 3 went searching for her body and one man, the Fire Chief of Paute, drowned when the boat tipped over.  Again, Pachamama got our attention! 
We don't go anywhere near the rivers, including the pretty walking paths, when they roar from the storms. Each year we witness rescue teams out looking for children and adults alike.   It's no time to decide to fish or do laundry or enjoy the scenery or whatever anywhere near the rivers, if you have a choice. 
Pachamama can also cause some concern along the beaches.  High waves are predicted for  this weekend, so be careful. We grew up respecting the ocean and her tides, but so many have no idea what can happen.  Each year it seems we hear about folks getting swept away on our Coast, just like we'd hear about the crazy tourists in SF.  If you have no experience with the ocean, it's time to educate yourself if you're headed that way.  Those of us who lived in California already have that caution ingrained in our DNA. 
Stay safe!  Pachamama is beautiful and peaceful, most of the time. Ecuador's beauty will take your breath away, from the majestic Andes to the gorgeous coastline.  But, she can change on a dime.
Feliz Cumpleaños, Rox! Happy Birthday!