Friday, July 22, 2011

Time management

We have seen a fair enough bit of Ecuador outside this province of Azuay where we live (though certainly not enough). But we have neglected too much our surrounding area where it is so easy to explore. So we set off on a Saturday to see the wee hiking and hat weaving mecca of Principal. Of course this was just an overnighter, and we thought we'd come back the way we were supposed to have come in the first place, through the jewelry mecca of Chordeleg. Turns out for the sheer sake of dramatic crescendo this was a great way to go.

Our drive in from Sigsig gave us the all-at-once, slap you in the face view of Principal at the base of the nearby (long extinct) volcano once you crest the mountain between them. The 40-minute bus ride back to Chordeleg, however, was just a constantly changing but ceaseless bunch of beautiful views. As we watched one view fade away behind us and we got that "ahh, that was really nice" kind of élan, we turned and saw another that had snuck up while we were facing the other way.

Chordeleg we have visited before, and it's known for its gold and silver jewelry, which we aren't much into. So this time around it was more a lunch and ice cream stop. But I would like to point out this really cool use of old tires.

No, sweetie, daddy was just kidding about feeding you out of a trough

And we also ran into what seemed to be a parade of sorts having something to do with a soccer tournament. It wasn't terribly clear to us. But at least we got a chance to see Miss Chordeleg. We have thought it great that any group of settled people large enough to get a town name has a Miss [insert town name here]. But not only that, Teddy and I agreed that their practice of foregoing guys dressed up in costumes or bulldogs on a leash as mascots in favor of their own Miss [insert team name here] is a practice worth imitating for club sports back home. And to be fair, girls teams would have a Mister Team whose job is also to look pretty and act as if the team won him in some tournament. I myself am considering dressing Di up in a crown, five-inch heels, a sequined dress, and a "Miss Because I Can" every time we go out. We didn't get to see any gameplay, but as it is soccer the five minutes of looking at pretty Misses was time, to my mind, better spent.

Duncan is always asking to ride in the front of cars and cabs with me, because we let him once in the slow-pace town of Baños de Ambato. But we won't let him in the pedal-to-the-metal pace of Cuenca. But we did get a short, mellow bus ride from Chordeleg to Gualaceo where we had to change buses, and the "helper lady" (who collects fares and such) was more than happy to stick a bobble-head gringito in this seat of great account. Happy boy.

And the donut hole man in between buses makes everybody happy.

So does the meat-on-a-stick man, but we couldn't get Teddy to pose with him.

All these pretty sights, great hike, tranquil time in a little town, all in just over 24 hours. That's time management.


  1. I was there two years ago and i was impressed. Unfortunately i had no time to visit it very well because i was there for only two days, but i hope to visit it again very soon. I recommend this place, it is very nice.

  2. I think we should start hanging out with you guys. You have much more fun visiting these places!