Friday, Jun 2, 2017

Cuenca Connection Visit

My friend from Cuenca, Aurobindo, came to the coast for a visit. He and I hung out last weekend. On Saturday night Olon had a festival in its square with vendors and restaurateurs selling their goods and food. Auro and I went there to check it out. To my surprise the entertainment even included a belly dancer. You never know who will show up in Olon.

olon, ecuador

Me and my buddy Auro

Russian Rum

olon, ecuador

Russian Rum

Even though Auro lives in Cuenca, he has a knack for meeting people everywhere. There was a Russian couple who have a pub-like place in Montanita that only sells rum they make themselves. They were here selling rum in Olon at the fiesta, so Auro introduced me to them. He had met them at some time in the past.

The rum this couple makes is fantastic. In addition to the classic rum, they have other infused flavor rums. I wanted the coconut rum but they didn’t have any with them. It required a trip for me and Auro to their place in Montanita the next day. In addition to coconut, they make ginger, aji (hot pepper), mora (berry), pineapple, and passion fruit flavors to name some of them.

Rum Paradise in Montanita

Peaceful Insights

Auro stayed long enough so that Heidi could visit with him for a day before he headed back to Cuenca. He has a great energy about him. Heidi and I find the peace he carries inside inspiring, and the insights he shares about living in our very troubled world encouraging. He practices, as well as teaches, meditation, and when I am around Auro I definitely see the benefits of a regular meditation practice.

Journey Home

Heidi could have used Auro along with her on her way back to Ecuador. It became pretty stressful for her when she changed plans in Bogota, Columbia. This was the last five hour leg of her 22 hour journey home. She had a 3 hour layover in Bogota, then a 2 hour flight to Guayaquil. While she maneuvered and managed herself at the airport, it was very crowded, lots of fast speaking Spanish, and when there was an announcement in English she couldn’t understand it.

Unfortunately she didn’t have a gate with a ramp way that took her right onto her plane. Instead she had to take a bus to her plane sitting out on the tarmac, and then drag her carry on luggage pieces up a set of steep stairs. At this point in her journey home she was pretty fried, and this felt a bit much.

When she needed to get onto the bus, they were loading two different flights through the same exit doors and she wasn’t sure which line, or bus, she needed to be in. Resourceful as she is though, she figured it out. She stood in the shortest line first, and when the flight attendant turned her away, she went and stood in the other line. Of course learning Spanish is the key to this dilemma, but until then, you just have to rely on your street smarts. 😉

Heidi Returns

It was so great having my wife home! It was about 5 pm Monday when I finally saw her come through the arrival door. Even after 22 hours of travel she looked beautiful. To get back to our place in Olon, we still had a 3 hour bus ride, but who wants to do that right? So off to the Marriott we went from the airport where Heidi could stretch out and relax…and still be able to flush the toilet paper, just like in the States. Coming back to Ecuador takes a bit of transition time. 😉

After a relaxing evening and a leisurely breakfast we left the Marriott, went to the bus terminal, and headed home. A little more than 3 hours after leaving Guayaquil we were walking through our door into our piece of paradise on the beach. Basically, I have enjoyed paradise with my wife for the rest of this week, and we have just been enjoying the tranquilo vibe.

Ahh, all is right with the world.