Or “The Ganos Move Into a Dee-Lux Apartment in the Sky”
Well, it’s not that high in the sky but it is an apartment on the fourth floor of a building called “La Glorieta” which means gazebo, and yes, there is a gazebo!
Our apartment was one of only two apartments that we actually looked at. We had determined in our minds quite a while ago what our optimal apartment would be like: furnished and equipped, 2-3 bedrooms, at least 2 bathrooms, living and dining rooms, a kitchen, be in a secure building, and have a view. After we got to Cuenca and did more exploring, we also determined the approximate area of the city we would like to live in: near a main north-south avenue named Solano and somewhat near either of the two most centrally located rivers in the city (Tomebomba or Yanuncay). And of course, we had a budget in mind as well.
Okay, you determine how we did. Our apartment in La Glorieta is fully furnished and equipped with 3 bedrooms (one we will use as an office), 3 ½ bathrooms (we’re not kidding!), living room, TV room, dining room, kitchen, laundry room, 2 small balconies, a parking space (which we don’t need), 24 hour guard, and killer views to the north, east and west! The furnishings in the apartment are quite tasteful as well.
We are half a block away from the Yanuncay River which has a lovely green belt with walking paths and exercise equipment and playgrounds. The apartment building is about three blocks away from the very south end of Avenida Solano. We would like to have been a little closer to El Centro, the historic center of the city – we are about a 40 minute walk away from Parque Calderon – but we can walk the distance or take two different buses which run about every 10 minutes or so.
This apartment also comes with a wonderful land lady named Susana! Susana lives up on the 6th floor and has done so much to make sure we have what we need and are comfortable. She even drove us over to the nearby mall so that we could buy some items at the big “Coral” store.
Coral is like a Target or Wal-Mart on steroids. You can buy all the items one would imagine such a store to have and then be able to also buy lumber, hospital equipment, musical instruments and more things made out of plastic than you can shake a stick at.
So how does one score such a great apartment, you may ask? Craigslist. Yep, that’s right. Craigslist. We called Marcelo, Susana’s agent, and he very willingly drove us to see it. Of course, we liked it immediately but nothing happens fast in Ecuador. It took about two weeks for our negotiations to finalize in signing three copies of a lease agreement which had to be revised numerous times so that everyone was satisfied.
Our Translator/Facilitator Linda Gonzalez made sure everything was clear to us because, as you would imagine, the lease was in Spanish. In the midst of negotiations, emails, and phone calls, we endured our parasite episode (see our 2nd post “Back to the Living”), the agent also became quite ill, we went to Quito, had choir rehearsals, attended Spanish class, and on and on. So we were quite relieved to finally sign the lease and move our 9 suitcases the mile or so from our temporary apartment to La Glorieta last Monday, October 27. Thanks to our great friend Gary and our other friend Gary, this move was made quick and easy with the use of the first Gary’s car. Thanks guys!
Anybody who has ever been in our previous home in Anchorage knows how much we value beautiful views. Well the view from our apartment kitchen window rivals the one we had from our kitchen window in Anchorage. The main difference is that in Anchorage, unless a moose or bear walked across the backyard, the view didn’t change too frequently. From our kitchen window in La Glorieta we can watch the weather changing, people walking dogs and exercising, children playing, and cars almost running into each other. All within the time it takes us to do the dishes!
Our next post will be about enjoying a very important holiday weekend here in Cuenca and will hopefully be published before we forget what we did! Until then,
Here’s what we’ve learned: Coral (big department store in Cuenca) does not necessarily organize its merchandise the way Fred Meyer or Target does!
Here’s what we need to learn: To barter better in the market when buying fruits and vegetables. We overpaid for a pineapple last time! It was really good, but still . . .