Three years ago Cynthia and I hoped we had made a good decision. The container filled with our possessions was en route to Ecuador and we had no residence in which to unload its contents.
We knew we didn’t want to live downtown or on the west side of the city, and could find nothing suitable in the south/central part of town where we had focused our search. With the clock ticking we finally found and leased a beautiful place in the southeast that we loved and would hold all our stuff. But we’d only been in Cuenca for a month and knew absolutely nothing about our new neighborhood.
Turns out we couldn’t have made a better choice. The surrounding streets are filled with large older homes, big trees and mature landscaping. A Supermaxi, Ecuador’s dominant supermarket chain, is a 10 minute walk away, as is Parque Paraiso, Cuenca’s largest park. El Centro can be reached in 20 minutes.
Our street, Avenida Paucarbamba, has undergone exciting transformations. Neither of us are big shoppers, but two lovely high-end clothing stores have opened plus several new restaurants.
Speaking of which, I’m thrilled to report that this part of town has evolved into what I will call the “Restaurant Riviera!” I thought of this as I was walking to Milenium Mall (yes, that’s the way it’s spelled) this morning. On the way I noticed a gorgeous new Spanish restaurant and two more dining establishments under construction. Roux Bar & Bistro opened right up the street two weeks ago and has enjoyed instant success.
I realized within a five minute stroll from our home we have a choice of six seafood restaurants. And we’re in the Andes--can you imagine? Extend that protractor out fifteen minutes and, counting the food court at Milenium, I’m certain we have over 40 nice places to eat. That doesn’t include the numerous blue-collar cheap lunch joints. Or Cuenca’s very first McDonald’s that will be open soon!
To be honest we usually eat at home. And after all this time we still haven’t tried every dining possibility within walking distance. But it’s awesome to know that, if we’re just not in the mood to cook and clean up (no dishwasher!), a great meal is only a few minutes away!