I am a pediatric nurse who quit her job at The Children’s Hospital Colorado to explore life in another country. Selling or giving away all that I own I have ventured south of the border to Cuenca, Ecuador with my dog Barkley. Here are the stories of my life change.

August 03 2015
Life in the day

Quito to Cuenca, Beautiful…But Long!

IMG_0196Off to Cuenca first thing on Thursday morning we went. Our driver, Gilo arrived about 20 minutes early. This was quite a surprise to me since I was already on Ecuadorian time and was moving at a slow pace. But, we were able to quickly pack things up and load the car. Now, I had itemized our large amount of luggage on the hire e-mail stating that I had two large suitcases, one small suitcase and a very large dog crate to transport. Gilo arrived in a small compact car happy and ready to drive. The fact that one of my large pieces of luggage had arrived late and was to arrive in Cuenca without me proved to be a God send. There would have been no way that third piece would have fit.

Galo was very friendly with a broad and warm smile. “Habla Inglas?” I asked. To which he said: “No!” I thought to myself that this was going to be a long ride in more ways than one. Off we went. The struggles with the language was my first start to my new life here in Ecuador.

The highway was a simple two lane the whole route. We got lost on multiple occasions but not for long. The trek does not have signs directing you as frequently as in the States. If I had rented a car as I had previously tried I would not have made it or it would have been so very frustrating.

The country side is amazingly beautiful. The hills are sectioned off for produce far up to the tops. There are plush green and tan shades of foliage carpeted appearing like your grandmother’s quilt of velvet covering the hills. The sky was a deep blue with low lying clouds moving slowly down the valleys. Along the way the Andean people were working the land and tending the animals. Fully clothed in the traditional wear the women in velvet pleated skirts laced at the hem and the Andean hat. Many times pulling a cow roped by the horns to follow as they walked down the road holding a large wooden staff. Herds of sheep spotted the hillsides grazing slowly and peacefully.Hills on the road to Cuenca

For the last half of the trip the road became very curvy. This was difficult for Barkley as she stood to watch the road she would slide from one side to the other. Upon occasion she would press her nose to Galo and sneak in a quick kiss to his cheek which would cause him to laugh loudly.

Finally, after about ten hours we arrived in Cuenca in the dark. With great struggles we located the Hotel Macado. After unloading the luggage into the beautiful fern filled lobby Barkley came dancing in. The girl behind the desk jumped up from her chair where she was straightening her hair with a hot iron and said: “We don’t allow dogs here!” I informed her that I had reserved the room through a search on “Pet Friendly Hotels in Cuenca” and that the Macado came up on TripAdvisor. She was certain that the owner would not be happy and not sure just why the hotel was listed as such. We were allowed to stay one night and needed to locate another stay in the morning. On AirBnB there was listed a room in a home in the country and I gave a quick call to ‘Bohdi’. He assured me that they would love to have Barkley and off we went.

Although we are out of the city amongst the cows and chickens I can hike a very steep hike up a dirt path to the road and to the bus. It works! It is peaceful here. Barkley is in heaven when we walk out to the pasture where she can frolic with the cows.

It seems like I could write an adventure daily since each day is one!! I did expect that it would take a bit to get the culture and lifestyle. So adapting daily is surely necessary!!Andean Mountaians

Barkley frolicing
Barkley frolicking
Our new country home
Our new country home

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  • Hi Vicki!!!
    How are you ??
    I love your blog and enjoy reading of your adventures . It looks beautiful there . What a great adventure . I’m so proud and happy for you !!;)))

  • I’m really proud of you! You are an inspiration to us all! I will miss you when we attend the Conv in Denver in August. Hope to visit you someday. Have you seen the Aug broadcast? I believe it’s the family you told me about. Amazing! Love you lots! Our trip overseas to Russia and Estonia was wonderful. Maybe a phone call to share. I do love your writing skills! AWESOME!

  • Hi Vickie,
    We met a brother at our RC that he and his wife will be moving to Cuenca January 2016. They are so excited to move there and preach and look forward to possibly looking you up. How is the minisrty? The congregation? Are you going to an English, Spanish or both? Keep in touch.

  • Vicki you are amazing in so many ways!! Love your sense of zest and adventure!!! I am with you step by step!! Stay safe. Xo

  • Oh Vicki!!! What an adventure you are having already!! So glad Barkley is loving it too. You are too cute.. Can’t wIt to hear what happens next. 😛

  • So beautiful!! What a reward for all your efforts to get there. Glad Barkley is having fun too! We’re off to Alaska this week for a different kind of adventure… :-0

  • Vicki, Wow! it is so beautiful there! Thanks for the beautiful photos and the wonderful blog. We are living vicariously through you! We are so happy for you and Barkley and already miss you terribly!

  • Yayyyyyyyyyyyy Vix!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE the PIX (haha! Yep… I’m just like Dr. Suess!)… And cute lil Barx! Looks like she’s hitting her marx ;o)

  • Vicki,
    Your blog is great, pictures beautifu, and, you are amazing! I am looking forward to more. Thanks so much!

    • Thank you Shaunda. It is so nice to hear from you. I was so sad that I could not say good-bye to you before I left.

    • Great to hear from you. Glad you like the blog so far. I have much work to do to get it where I want it. Barkley sends her love.

  • I am loving the blog! I’m so impressed with you…wish I were brave enough to do this 🙂 Keep us updated please!

  • Your writing is absolutely captivating! I came into the courtyard of my office building at lunch after a horrendously busy morning of answering phones! As soon as I start reading your blog, a calmness and serenity comes over me!

  • Hi Vicky!!

    Glad you arrived safe and sound! Thanx for the lovely pictures!
    Can’t wait to hear about all your experiences!
    Looking forward to seeing you in Miami in February!!
    XXOO

  • So VERY proud of you and Barkley–we so enjoy your pictures and narrative and love learning about your new adventures. AWESOME-

  • It is so beautiful! Your blog seems to be working beautifully. I have had no problem. Took the bike (I call it Miss Vicki:))out for a ride on the bluffs by or house yesterday. Loved it! Cant wait to hear more!

  • Vicki, I’m so glad it is all coming together for you and Barkley!
    Yes, I have subscribed and the link worked great. Looking forward to reading about your future adventures!

    1. Kelly weaver 12:56pm 23 September - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vicki!!!
      How are you ??
      I love your blog and enjoy reading of your adventures . It looks beautiful there . What a great adventure . I’m so proud and happy for you !!;)))

    2. Kelly weaver 12:53pm 23 September - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vicki
      Looks beautiful there !! I’m so happy for you ;))

    3. Lori b 03:05am 07 August - 2015 - Reply

      I’m really proud of you! You are an inspiration to us all! I will miss you when we attend the Conv in Denver in August. Hope to visit you someday. Have you seen the Aug broadcast? I believe it’s the family you told me about. Amazing! Love you lots! Our trip overseas to Russia and Estonia was wonderful. Maybe a phone call to share. I do love your writing skills! AWESOME!

    4. Kelly, Tamy & Darby 01:43am 06 August - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vickie,
      We met a brother at our RC that he and his wife will be moving to Cuenca January 2016. They are so excited to move there and preach and look forward to possibly looking you up. How is the minisrty? The congregation? Are you going to an English, Spanish or both? Keep in touch.

    5. Janie 08:20pm 05 August - 2015 - Reply

      So fun to hear from you! Looks like you and Barkley are having a great time!

    6. Kathy 01:33pm 05 August - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vicki, It looks beautiful and QUIET! How refreshing it must be. I am happy for you and Barkley. Kathy

    7. Tanya 03:31pm 04 August - 2015 - Reply

      Looks like you’re having a great time:) So happy for you!!!

    8. 02:17pm 04 August - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki you are amazing in so many ways!! Love your sense of zest and adventure!!! I am with you step by step!! Stay safe. Xo

    9. Mom 03:50am 04 August - 2015 - Reply

      Great job, loving your blog. Keep them coming.

    10. Laura Blaich 02:30am 04 August - 2015 - Reply

      Oh Vicki!!! What an adventure you are having already!! So glad Barkley is loving it too. You are too cute.. Can’t wIt to hear what happens next. 😛

    11. Cynde 02:10am 04 August - 2015 - Reply

      So beautiful!! What a reward for all your efforts to get there. Glad Barkley is having fun too! We’re off to Alaska this week for a different kind of adventure… :-0

    12. Naomi 01:09am 04 August - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki, Wow! it is so beautiful there! Thanks for the beautiful photos and the wonderful blog. We are living vicariously through you! We are so happy for you and Barkley and already miss you terribly!

      • vickijduran 01:40am 04 August - 2015 - Reply

        Yeah Naomi! Thanks for joining me on my adventure!

    13. Jackie 01:03am 04 August - 2015 - Reply

      Yayyyyyyyyyyyy Vix!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE the PIX (haha! Yep… I’m just like Dr. Suess!)… And cute lil Barx! Looks like she’s hitting her marx ;o)

      • vickijduran 01:41am 04 August - 2015 - Reply

        Hey Jack! So glad to know you are following. Barkley is a happy girl in the country.

    14. Sandi Lehr 11:57pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      What a beautiful country I am so excited for you and barkley thanks for sharing.

      • vickijduran 01:43am 04 August - 2015 - Reply

        Hey Sandi! Thanks for following. This is going to be fun.

    15. Shaunda Huggins 11:10pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki,
      Your blog is great, pictures beautifu, and, you are amazing! I am looking forward to more. Thanks so much!

      • vickijduran 11:43pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        Thank you Shaunda. It is so nice to hear from you. I was so sad that I could not say good-bye to you before I left.

    16. Sandy 09:30pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki,
      This is amazing! Loving the blog. Hugs to Barkley for me.

      • vickijduran 11:44pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        Great to hear from you. Glad you like the blog so far. I have much work to do to get it where I want it. Barkley sends her love.

    17. Lee-Anne 08:34pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      Love your blog, it’s working just fine! The pictures are awesome, looking forward to more.

      • vickijduran 11:45pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        Thanks Lee-Anne! So nice to hear from you!

    18. Carol Carrillo 07:36pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      I am loving the blog! I’m so impressed with you…wish I were brave enough to do this 🙂 Keep us updated please!

      • vickijduran 11:46pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        Thanks for the compliment, Carol. It has been fun but was really scary in the beginning!

    19. DOROTHY HUTER 07:30pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      Your writing is absolutely captivating! I came into the courtyard of my office building at lunch after a horrendously busy morning of answering phones! As soon as I start reading your blog, a calmness and serenity comes over me!

      • vickijduran 11:47pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        Wow! What a big compliment!! I love to tell stories as you know. I am glad they are not boring!!

    20. Mary Van Handel 07:10pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki, you really did it!! Good for you-enjoy. I look forward to continued updates about your travels.

      • vickijduran 11:48pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        thanks Mary! You and your hubby maybe will join me someday?

    21. Linda Paolucci 07:02pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      Hi Vicky!!

      Glad you arrived safe and sound! Thanx for the lovely pictures!
      Can’t wait to hear about all your experiences!
      Looking forward to seeing you in Miami in February!!
      XXOO

      • vickijduran 11:49pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        I know that I will need some good girl time by February! I can’t wait to see all of you girls.

    22. Auntie Flo 06:47pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      So VERY proud of you and Barkley–we so enjoy your pictures and narrative and love learning about your new adventures. AWESOME-

      • vickijduran 11:49pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        I love you Auntie Flo! Of course you would support me as you always have throughout my life. Thank you!!

    23. Heidi 06:39pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      It is so beautiful! Your blog seems to be working beautifully. I have had no problem. Took the bike (I call it Miss Vicki:))out for a ride on the bluffs by or house yesterday. Loved it! Cant wait to hear more!

      • vickijduran 11:52pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        I am so glad that the pink bike has a loving home. Ride a lot for me this summer!!

    24. Diana 06:32pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      I am so happy for you as well as jealous. I so wish I had the nerve. Love you. You are missed

      • vickijduran 11:52pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        Maybe you will have the nerve someday and join my here in Cuenca, I know you love it.

    25. Stephanie 06:29pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

      Vicki, I’m so glad it is all coming together for you and Barkley!
      Yes, I have subscribed and the link worked great. Looking forward to reading about your future adventures!

      • vickijduran 11:53pm 03 August - 2015 - Reply

        Thank you Stephanie! So glad you are follow in my adventures!

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