Expat Perspective: A stroll on the west coast and thoughts about the tranvia

Aug 4, 2017 | 0 comments

By Ed O’Connor

We decided on a little pre-July Fourth getaway for Olga’s birthday. For those of you that don’t know, Olga was born in Russia. So, we took a jaunt to the beach for a week to a top-rated bed-and-breakfast, Villa de Los Sueños, located in the small fishing village of La Entrada, Ecuador.

Transportation was in a 15-passenger Volkswagen van with 10 other gringos. The trip took almost seven hours covering 200 miles from Cuenca, over the Andes at 12,000 feet, then to the coast.

The three-story, beach-front facility with a spiral staircase was beautiful and the grounds immaculately groomed. The owners of the villa are an American couple.

Editor’s Note: Villa de Los Sueños is offering a 4 night stay with transportation provided between Cuenca the Villa on August 14th. Click here for more information.

They were great and treated us like family. They had a welcome dinner for the group and a surprise birthday cake for Olga.

Villa de Los Sueños

If you have been to any of the East Coast shore points and tried walking the beach, you know that it is almost impossible to navigate because of the mass of humanity. On the West Coast, we walked 8 miles and passed only about 10 people on the hike

Many small fishing towns line the coast, and we enjoyed fresh seafood during our stay served in open air restaurants on the beach. We experienced one problem — the weather. It was warm, humid, overcast and rainy during our stay. We did not see the sun in five days.

In lieu of frolicking in the Pacific, we went on some interesting side trips. We had never been to the coastal city of Salinas; hence we chose this day trip. We saw many interesting places along the way including a church constructed in the 1700’s of wood — almost unheard of due to termites and fire. We stood on the farthest western point of Ecuador, a peninsula that juts into the Pacific Ocean.

Here comes the president

Ecuador finally has a new president. The loser conceded the day before the inauguration. It didn’t take him long to catch on.

I had mentioned in past ramblings that there is a $232 million light rail system being built in Cuenca. Construction began in 2013 and it was to be completed and running in 2016. The main purpose was to eliminate pollution in center city. It is $35 million over budget and the latest estimated time frame for completion and operation is 2018.

All the while the heart of the city has been torn up. Many, many businesses were closed, and traffic is a nightmare. The thing is, this system known as the “tranvia” does not access the entire city. When (if?) it is completed, I would have to walk 25 minutes to reach it.

Right now, maintenance must be performed on track that was laid three years ago and never used. The big polluters in the city are the diesel buses. The city should have used all those millions to purchase a fleet of non-polluting propane and/or electric buses that could have served the entire municipality. As usual, if it absolutely, positively must be screwed up — have government do it.

Random Thought

We need an investigation here in Cuenca! This past weekend there was a Russian Day in one of the large parks highlighting Russian culture. I’ll bet the Russians hacked into the city computers. I even found a Russian in my bed!

Until later from beautiful Cuenca … Eddy the Expat

Ed O'Connor

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