Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The people who are renting the place below us came in sometime during the middle of the night. They haven’t fully moved in yet, but show up at odd hours to bring things to their place. I could hear the sound of plastic grocery bags crinkling as their contents are emptied, and then the sound of kitchen cupboard doors opening and closing as things are put away. There wasn’t much talking but when the man and woman below us did speak I could hear every word. Soon, they were gone and I laid in the dark wondering what time it was.

I was awakened by the voice over the loud speaker who is leading the Zumba class. I grabbed my watch from my side dresser and tried to focus. It was 6:31 am. Right on time. Uuugh. We need to find a new place to live, and soon.

We looked at a couple more places today. One is a place we looked at before. So far, if we had to, we could live in it. Our hesitation is that there isn’t a full size balcony for us to enjoy the sunny days here. Or rather, a more accurate description is the part of the day that is sunny. I believe it has rained at some point every day since we arrived here. When it isn’t raining the skies are most often brilliant blue with big cotton ball like clouds and a warm yellow sun shining down.

20160531_161804We are meeting Dave and Victoria at the zoo.

View of Cuenca from zoo

View of Cuenca from zoo

The zoo in Cuenca is built along the side and on top of a mountain. We took a taxi there and as we pulled off the paved highway onto the dirt road leading to the zoo, the car began to climb. The road made hairpin turns and at one point I didn’t think the taxi was going to have enough power to keep heading up the steep incline, but we made it.

Trail leading out of the zoo down the mountainside

Trail leading out of the zoo down the mountainside

Walking through the zoo involves following a dirt trail with steep inclines and decents throughout. This is not for the unfit or marginally mobile person to do. It began raining and as the dirt turned to mud it became slick on the exposed rocks of the trail. Walking was done carefully.

I’ve decided I am not a zoo person. The habitats created for the animals were done as natural as possible utilizing the landscape and trees of the mountain. The Amaru zoo is trying to create a decent zoo for the animals.

It isn’t natural though for lions to be bordered by a large chain link fence, or a single fox to be kept fenced in a clump of trees.

With today’s technology why can’t zoos be 3D virtual reality exhibits with the sights, sounds, and smells of the animals as they are in the wild? In my mind it would be more educational and experiential than looking at an animal who has lost his spirit or appears in distress being forced to live in his enclosure.

After the zoo we met Dave and Victoria at Fabiano’s for pizza. They are headed back to Bahia tomorrow and won’t be able to get pizza as good as it is here. It was fun being able to spend time with them during their stay in Cuenca. I miss our days hanging out with them at H Bar and shooting the shit over iced lattes and grilled veggie sandwiches.