A New Kind of Blog

There is a world of information about Ecuador. It is one of the most popular countries for people who want to retire to a place where the dollar goes much farther than in the US, a place for adventuresome families who want to experience a new language and exciting culture. However, much of what you read or hear does not touch on the practical, the problematic, or the local information necessary to make things work. There are many blogs which are basically daily diary’s from people who live here. But this blog will be different. We know how hard it is to get accurate and timely information. We have been through it. All of us who live here have learned step by step and we question whether it is necessary to have every newcomer reinvent the wheel. We hope this blog will help shorten the learning curve. There are many hurdles but all are surmountable. What is required is patience, an understanding of local ways, and a realization that you are going to live in a country which is not the same as the US, Canada, or Britain. Our choice was to live in the wonderful city of Cuenca in the Southern Sierra but this may not be your decision and you will therefore have to look further to find the answers you need for different areas like the coast or the Amazon. Please realize that all the suggestions and ideas are based on our experiences. Ecuadorian regulations change rapidly and must be checked before you make any investments or major decisions. Please email us at Sailorburr@gmail.com and let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Christmas Day
The buildup to Christmas was over and the big day upon us. Jonny was, of course, beside himself with anxiety over whether Santa would find our apartment without a chimney and how was he ever going to get to every child in the world before dawn. We did our best to ward off his fears. At 6:10 AM our bedroom door flew open and the announcement was made that Santa had come. All was saved. A half hour later every package had been torn open, each toy played with and we had gulped down a saving cup of coffee. All morning was spent in a child’s world, a place almost all of us have forgotten. Then off in the car into the mountains on one of the sunniest, bright days we have ever seen. Up and out of Cuenca through the street lined with tall brick apartment buildings where so many of our friends live, through little villages with whole families sitting by the road watching the cars go by, up and up into the Cajas National Park. At about 12,000 feet, we turned off the highway onto a dirt road that winds along a stream and ponds filled with trout.

We were headed toward our favorite fish restaurant, Dos Chorreras or Two Falls, for Christmas dinner. It was unusual for us to put on sweaters but it is quite cool at that altitude even though we are almost on the equator. Jonny played in the woods, slipping and sliding down grassy hills, jumping a tumbling brook, and pretending to fish with a stick in a little lake. Then came a huge dinner of delicious potato soup, steak and trout, a carafe of sweet Ecuadorian liquor for Loretta and me, plus an enormous selection of deserts, that ran $25 for the three of us. It was almost impossible to get Jonny to leave after two women workers from the fish ponds dumped two large buckets of trout into an indoor pond. All the children in the restaurant spent the next hour helping the fish “come to” after the shock of being netted and carried up the hill in buckets. A photo I missed was Jonny holding a foot long rainbow trout in both of his little hands with an expression on his face of sheer joy and success.

He napped after such a long day as we drove through Cuenca to see what was going on, passed some parades and came home exhausted and happy. Aided by Santa, Cuenca’s effervescent holiday spirit, and the joy of our child, Christmas in Cuenca lived up to all of our expectations and more.

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