Traffic lights synchronized in Centro; Defy death in Girón; Latam increases Cuenca-Quito flights; Ecuador offal dish is among world’s best; Exit tax drops again

Jul 4, 2023 | 18 comments

Lunes, 3/7/2023

Hola, Todos –

I will be taking a 1 or 2 week vacation starting after I post this issue. I’ll be trying to cure a severe case of exhaustion.

Today’s issue lists the tax debtors from Manuel Burhuan to María Corral. <If you owe the city any money, aren’t you glad governments no longer just come to your house and throw you in debtors’ prison?>

Actividades –

The Cuenca transportation office has adjusted the timing for stoplights to prioritize ‘olas de verde’ (green waves) along the length of main steets in the Centro HIstórico. This will reduce the time it takes to get through downtown. (El Mercurio)

De El Mercurio del domingo, 2/7 (1 article):
Girón: un paseo extremo en “bicicletas voladoras” (Girón: an extreme ride on “flying bicycles”) – <This is for all of you thrill seekers who think being suspended on strings a suicidal distance above solid ground is fun.> There are several adrenaline invoking activities at El Chorro de Girón in addition to viewing 3 waterfalls. The ‘Skybike’ is a bicycle designed to be ridden along a cable across a canyon, suspended 100 meters above the ground. The rider is harnessed and attached to an overhead cable for safety. The speed depends on how hard you pedal, with one tourist saying you need to pedal hard because at that height, the ride feels longer. Another characterized the feeling as strange with the same freedom you feel while pedalling, but multiplied by 10. <I’d guess the feeling would similar to the fear you feel when you’re on the van to Guayaquil and see a dump truck coming at you in your lane, also multiplied by 10.>

One of the guides said that the bicycles can support all weights. He said that tourists from N. America have come and generally they are tall and “muy robustos” <was that a polite way of saying very fat?> with “bastante peso” (a lot of weight), and they used the bikes without problems.

Other activities include mountain biking, hiking, camping, zip lining, sports fishing, painball (sic) <which might be more accurate than paintball>, and horseback riding. You can also climb to the 3 waterfalls. The first falls is an easy walk that takes 15-20 minutes, although there are some stairs. The 2nd falls is almost an hour and half hike, and the 3d falls takes almost 8 hours both coming and going. The swing of 12 meters costs $5.00 and has a view of the parking lot and restaurants. The zipline costs $10, and the suspended Tibetan bridge (a “ladder” to walk on and 2 ropes to hold on to) costs $5. Adventurers are in a harness and helmet. <As if a helmet would save your life if you managed to fall. You’d probably lose it on the way down, anyway.> You can also stay overnight at the hostería for $10 per person. Hours are miércoles a domingo from 8:30-18:00.

De El Mercurio del sábado, 1/7 (1 article):
La guatita, entre los mejores platos con vísceras el mundo (Guatita, among the best dishes with offal in the world) – <For many of you, confronting a plate of this delicacy might be even more challenging that riding a bike along a rope suspended 100 meters in the air. To each his own – I happen to like guatita.> The food guide ‘Taste Atlas’ rated guatitas 32 out of the 50 best variety meat dishes in the world. <Variety meat sounds exotic while offal sounds like it sounds.> This dish is enjoyed throughout Ecuador and is believed to have started out as food for poor people and slaves, but not the higher classes. Eventually it passed into all classes. You can find it at El Criollito and El rincón del Broaster where it is served with rice, noodles, fried platano and a slice of avocado. Other locations to find it are at the Mercado 10 de Agosto, El Carboncito in the Terminal Terrestre sector, la Picantería 10 de Agosto in the colegio La Salle sector, La sazón de Lupita y Leo Express both at Gran Colombia y Padre Aguirre, El Remolque del Chino on Paseo de los Cañaris and el Restaurante Coppelia on Bolívar y Tarqui. Buen provecho.

Titular –

Vacacionales: arte, cultura y diversión (Holidays: art, culture and fun) – Parish churches, and art and sports academies are readying the tradiitonal summer camps for children and adolescents. The María Auxiliadora parish with its 45 years of organizing vacation activities is planning the programs in rural parishes with workshops in crafts, leadership, dynamics, mental health and more. HIgh school and university students volunteer to lead the activities which are for children from 7-15. The colegio Técnico Salesiano is also offering vacation activities for children and teens from 6-17. Registrations are open until 30/7 from 9-17:00 at the parish secretary’s office. The $10 cost covers 2 weeks from domingo a domingo. The only requirement is a copy of a cedula and filling out a form.

Workshops for children from 6-12 in drawing, painting and puppets started today at the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno (MMAM). There are also guitar lessons for kids from 9-17. MMAM’s summer camp runs until el 4/8.

Cuenca –

Sincronizan los semáforos para dar fluidez al tránsito (Synchronization of traffic lights to improve traffic flow) – The Dirección de Gestión de Movilidad has adjusted the timing for stoplights to prioritize ‘olas de verde’ (green waves) along the length of main steets in the Centro HIstórico. This will reduce the time it takes to get through downtown. One driver said that in 1 minute he was able to travel 4 blocks instead of the 2 or 3 blocks he could travel before the adjustments. The adjustments will be in effect for 30 days. <If it works, why not permanently? Or maybe I’m reading this wrong.>

De El Mercurio del sábado, 1/7 (1 article):
Más frequencias en ruta Quito-Cuenca-Quito (More flights on Quito-Cuenca-Quito route) – Starting el lunes, 3/7, Latam is increasing the number of flights between Cuenca & Quito by 3 for a total of 28 flights per week. The new flights will be on luens, martes, y jueves. Latam is waiting/hoping/expecting an increase in passengers as well. It didn’t give out any information about the cost of the flights.

Nacional –

De El Mercurio del domingo, 2/7 (1 article):
Impuesto a Salida de Divivas baja a 3.5% (Exit tax drops to 3.5%) – The drop in the exit tax from 3.75% to 3.5% started el 1/7. The Executive Decree 298 issued on 22/12/2021 called for a gradual drop in this tax which started at 5%. Beginning at 5%, decreased by .25% every 3 months.7x

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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