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Rainy Ecuador, recalling Cactus Jack, and pesky libtards ...: Ed O'Connor

Posted 4/4/18

Here in the Southern Hemisphere, we have entered autumn.

In Cuenca, January to June is considered the “rainy” season. It doesn’t rain non-stop as the name might imply, but it …

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Rainy Ecuador, recalling Cactus Jack, and pesky libtards ...: Ed O'Connor


Here in the Southern Hemisphere, we have entered autumn.

In Cuenca, January to June is considered the “rainy” season. It doesn’t rain non-stop as the name might imply, but it rains more than in the “dry” season.

Lately we have been experiencing precipitation in the mid- to late afternoons that can last a few hours. We see clouds roll in from the east, from the Amazon. They can produce significant showers and sometimes storms, but with the low humidity level it dries relatively quickly. So we do errands earlier in the day as to avoid the liquid sunshine. During the rain it is difficult to flag down a taxi.

This past week we went on a day trip to the small town of Nabon, about 90 minutes from Cuenca. We go on various day trips, and many times there are quite a few trippers. But on this junket, there were only about 20 North Americans (gringos). It could be that the ad for the tour stated that a good bit of walking would be required. Hiking for Americans usually means strolling from the house to the car and from the car to the restaurant. Malls in the United States probably would not be closing if cars could be driven inside the malls.

The lady who arranges many of the outings is an Ecuadorean married to an Englishman. They have a restaurant/gift shop that is reminiscent of a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. We were transported by bus to their restaurant, La Yunta, where we had a huge breakfast. Then it was off to Nabon, where we first visited an orchid farm located halfway up a very steep hill.

We then walked the remaining steps to the cross at the very top of the hill, where we enjoyed a 360-degree view of the town and valley below. While climbing the steps to the summit, we found ourselves breathing rather heavily. No wonder — we later discovered that the altitude was more than 9,000 feet.

After the orchid farm we walked down the mountain, into Nabon and from there we were to hike about 3 miles down the original dirt road from the town, cross a covered bridge and walk another mile to a home where lunch would be waiting. This road was built by hand in 1944. No machinery of any kind was used.

An hour later we found the covered bridge, but unbeknownst to our guide, there had been a landslide blocking the road and we could not continue our trek. So … we turned around and hiked back to the town, took the bus and proceeded to the other end of the road on the opposite side of the mountain. From there we had to walk a little more than a mile. It started to rain.

The dirt road was slowly getting muddy. We finally reached our destination, a beautiful hacienda that had been bought by a Canadian lady and remodeled. We crossed another covered bridge onto her property and after a wonderful lunch started back in the rain to board the bus. The river was swollen from the rain and the water looked exactly like chocolate milk. Needless to say, the dirt road was now much muddier.

Halfway back we encountered a newly created, fast-moving stream that flowed down from the surrounding hills dissecting the road. There were two ways to get across — jump at the narrowest point where the water was the swiftest leading to the river or wade through at the widest spot. I chose the former and Olga the latter. We both made it albeit poor Olga was soaked from above the ankles and had to pour the water from her shoes.

Back on the bus … an hour later we stopped at the restaurant and the waiter brought needed hot toddies to the bus for us.

By the time we returned home we were both drenched, chilly and enjoyed a nice hot shower. Another day — another adventure.

A moving story

When we moved to our new apartment we had our furniture, appliances and 20 boxes. We have artist friends in Cuenca who moved to the Ecuadorean capital city of Quito last month. We helped them pack, which took weeks. On moving day, we assisted loading the trucks. They had more than 900 boxes! It took 10 of us all day to load the two trucks.

Remembering Cactus Jack

I received a call from my best friend, Jake, in Middletown informing me that friend and former fast pitch softball teammate/coach, “Cactus” Jack Emrich, had died. I was saddened to receive this news. Jack was a wonderful Middletonian and one of the most humorous people I have ever met. He could have been a stand-up comic. I could tell you some great stories! I will hopefully see you again, Jack. Keep the leadoff spot open for me.

Part-time living

Since Olga is from Moldova, we are kicking around the idea of possibly living part time in Eastern Europe (Moldova, Romania, Republic of Georgia, et al.), and part-time here. The cost of living in Eastern Europe is even lower than in Cuenca. Hence, we could experience life there and do some touring/traveling in Europe. Time will tell.

Student indoctrination and libtards

I see the libtards are now getting students as young as 5 years old from the GICs (Government Indoctrination Centers, formerly schools) to “march.” Well, not exactly march. Marching is what the military does and it requires discipline.

Witless meandering like lost sheep would be a more apt description. The left will employ any tactic, even exploit children in an attempt to take away your freedoms. If guns were “gay” would they want to ban them?

Because vehicles kill in excess of 40,000 people yearly, I am waiting for the looney, libtard “Anti-Car March.” Ban vehicles that hold more than two persons. Buses can kill up to 40 people at a time. Vans and SUVs can kill up to nine. No operating vehicles or ownership until age 21. No driving cars or ownership for those who are mentally unstable or have ever taken drugs for mental problems — Ritalin, Adderall, etc. No assault-type vehicles. Let me know when that protest “march” is scheduled. In the meantime, I am rejoining the NRA.

I’ll close with the words of the late “Cactus” Jack Emrich: “Anyone who thinks all men are created equal, never spent any time in a locker room.”

Your expat buddy from Cuenca, Ecuador … Eddy O

Ed O’Connor, a former resident of Middletown and Lower Swatara Township, is an expatriate living in Cuenca, Ecuador.