Published on February 28th, 2014


Carnival in Cuenca!


Good-NESS! Ever so much to catch up on here. I’ve now been tucked into my new home in Cuenca, Ecuador for about two weeks, and let me tell ya – coming from more than 2 years living in Asia – Ecuador is like landing on ANOTHER PLANET!!!

Much to tell of course – about my marathon trajectory across the Big Blue Puddle, touching toes briefly in my native land, and then yet another 3 planes due south – just a smidge past the equator here to (aptly named) ECUADOR.


Yup, I’m now living in the Land of yummerishish “Cafe con Leche”

There’s also the little matter of climbing UP to 8 THOUSAND FEET on that g-forsaken mountain top in the Andes” (can you spell G-A-S-P-I-N-G for breath?) Ah but those tales (and pics of my new super-duper apartment) – all in due time, dear readers. All in due time.

But today, I just couldn’t wait to slap up a little video I created of the first night of Carnival here in Cuenca. Oh my – but the start of a near week of festivities, and all I can say is – Uh, Toto, I don’t think we’re in Asia anymore!


Now then – on with the shhhhheeeow

O.k. here’s a test for ya – raise you hand if you spotted the one pic with yours truly in it!
(let me know in the comments)

About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

15 Responses to Carnival in Cuenca!

  1. Sue Pearson says:

    Hi Dyanne, I have been keeping an eye on the blogs for Ecuador, been wanting to move there for years and hoping to make my trial “is it my new home” jaunt down there later this year. I have not heard it was easier to get your visa IN Ecuador after arriving, always heard it the other way around, and never heard anyone say something about the travel discounts you mentioned, now THAT is very interesting! Did you have all the necessary paperwork, how did you know what all to bring for the long term visa? People always talk about how much work it was to get all the papers they needed…? Did you do much requesting more paperwork from the states to get them? Thank you for your blog, I will certainly be watching it! I have been getting alot of info about the area from the Ecuador expats Facebook site, seems like alot of good people there! Thanks again and enjoy your time there!

    • Dyanne says:

      Well hey there Sue – thanks for stopping by TravelnLass. But I must say – while so far I’m tickled PINK with Ecuador, I am by NO MEANS an expert on neither visas nor discounts, nor…

      First of all, I’ve only been here a bit more than a month. And if you read my many (near 200 and counting!) posts here at TravelnLass, then you know that I’m kind of a “seat-of-the-pants” traveler. Though I do tend to do my research before setting off for a new land, the truth is – I’ve been traveling (mostly in developing nations like Ecuador) for 30+ years, and have now lived in 5 foreign countries, so… I tend to be a bit loose about hopping to a new country, and don’t worry too much about long term visas, etc. I figure – if I don’t like it – I’ll just hop on a plane and move someplace else. 😉

      Clearly not the most prudent way to wander the earth, but as I travel with but a backpack, it’s not like sampling a new potential “home” is a big deal.

      In short, after nearly 3 years living as an expat in Asia, I hopped here to Ecuador with no prep whatsoever for a long term visa. Simply grabbed the 90 day freebie that U.S. citizens get upon arrival. I figure that gives me plenty of time to decide if I even want to stay long-term here. And IF I decide to make Ecuador my long-term home, then yes – likely it will take a quick trip back to the States to get all my papers in order (though, I’ve already got most the silly “appostilles” done when I moved to Asia, likely the only doc I will need is a new Criminal Records Check as the one I had for Asia is of course, now expired). In any case, by then, I’ll likely be ready for a little vacay to see friends in my native land, so no problemo.

      That said, each of us, our circumstances is completely different, and you’re wise to (likewise) head down here for a trial run. It probably wouldn’t hurt to get your papers/ducks in order while you’re waiting, but I’d certainly not recommend packing up a boatload of “stuff” (it amazes me the tendency of many expats here to ship down whole CONTAINERS of blenders, lamps, barbecue grills and whatnot – to replicate their lives in Hometown, U.S.A. here in Ecuador) before you come down, and spend a good month or so checking out the many different corners of Ecuador.

      Living in a developing foreign country like Ecuador surely isn’t for everybody. But if you favor a bit of adventure, and can welcome the challenges of living day after day among a different culture, with a different language, customs, etc. then do come.on.down. But yes, yes, – first make a trial visit to see for yourself what life as an expat in Ecuador is all about.

      If you have further specific questions Sue, do email me privately, and I’ll be happy to post my answers on the TL “Great Leap F.A.Q.” page so all can benefit from my (dubiously expert) wisdom. 😉

      • Sue Pearson says:

        Hey Dyanne, Thank you for your reply, I did not know you could just arrive in Ecuador and get a free 90 day visa, such good news. Yes I have done a bit of solo traveling overseas and South America and have a small place in Mexico, but very much like what I’m hearing about Cuenca. I definitely want to try it out and check out the towns I have been researching before I come home and sell it all. Then I too would just easily pack up and move somewhere else (except back to the states) If I found another place I want to check out! I DID read alot of your stories! What an experience, a bit too hard core for me, lol! But I can’t wait to do my trial run, thank you for your reply!

        • Dyanne says:

          Well visa regs in any country vary depending on your nationality Sue, but yes, easy-peasy 90 day freebie in Ecuador for those of us from the U.S.

          That said, please don’t take only my word for such important details – do your own due diligence to be sure you have all the latest visa regs (like… “onward ticket”, etc.)

          And yes, I fully admit to waxing a bit “hard-core” in my travels, but I’ve been doing it for many years now (independently, solo, mostly in developing countries) so my travel style seems fairly “tame” and simply “normal” for me. 😉

          Point is – we’re all different in our travel style – no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. Just a matter of following your own brand of travel bliss – whatever you feel comfortable with, and whatever tickles your unique travelntoes.

          LOL, come to think of it – “TravelnToes” – that would make a super travel blog name – I should probably buy the domain! 😉

  2. Pingback: It's Mardi Gras, Y'all! - The Traveluster

  3. Lindsay says:

    Woah! Didn’t know they celebrated Carnival in Ecuador! Linking to this on my post about Louisiana Mardi Gras!
    Lindsay kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Food Fun Friday: Mardi Gras King CakesMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Yes, Lindsay – not only does Ecuador (emphatically!) celebrate Carnival – but it’s a near week-long parrrrrr-taa! Indeed, while I’d long hoped (and still do) to one day celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans, after but 3 weeks here in my new adopted “home” in Ecuador, it was quite a treat to see how they celebrate this colorful and fun event here.

  4. ching-hua says:

    I saw you on the left with the handsome young men! Thanks for posting the video. The dancing looked really fun. I liked the dancers in the hats and pants. They were women?

    • Dyanne says:

      Ding-ding-ding! You win the prize, Ching Hue (an all expense paid stay at Casa de TravelnLass!)

      Yes, those dancers in the video clip w/ the fur pants (actually “chaps” I think) are the same as those posing with me – all hombres/senors – nada senoritas. 😉

  5. MCRT says:

    Great to see this post from your new crash pad. So many great places to see around there. Too bad so many of the countries have big fees for entry.

    • Dyanne says:

      LOTS more pics of my new crash pad coming up next week, Mike – stay tuned.

      And yes, though some of the SA countries’ visa fees for Americans are on a par with China ($140), they seem more geared to folks making multiple trips over a longer period of time (e.g. duration of your passport for Chili, 5 yrs. for Bolivia, etc.)

      But there’s plenty of other SA countries (Ecuador for starters, along with Columbia, Peru, Uruguay) that are free for 90 days (which you could only dream of in Thailand for example).

      Besides, a long-term (resident) visa is fairly easy to obtain here in Ecuador. And if you’re dodderin’ like me 😉 such gives you a 50% discount on all air (to the U.S. et al) that originates/returns to Ecuador – as well as half off the $100 entry fee to the Galapagos Islands.

      Needless to say, the latter is most definitely tops on my radar these days. 😉

  6. With the understanding that you haven’t been there that long, do you think you’re glad you made the move to Cuenca from Southeast Asia?
    Suzanne Fluhr (Boomeresque) kindly contributed to world literature by posting…The Hawaii Chocolate Festival – Educational and Yum!My Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Well I am nothing, if not an explorer at heart, Suzanne, and I’d just about exhausted much of Asia (10 countries!) So even if Ecuador turned out to not be my cup of tea – it would still be worth hanging out here awhile, if nothing else than to explore a wholly new corner of the globe.

      That said, in the two weeks I’ve been here – every indication is that… oh yeah – I do believe I could live happily here for quite a goodly while. The climate is absolutely FABULOUS (much like a spring day – year round). And Cuenca is ever so charming with cobble-stone streets, red-tiled roofs, and majestic colonial cathedrals at every turn. I honestly feel like I’m living in ITALY – at 1/3 the cost! 😉

      And of course there’s the language – I’m thrilled to be able to speak whole sentences in Spanish (albeit I no doubt sound like a blundering idiot to the locals). Ever so much easier than Vietnamese or Thai.

      And while I still might be in but a “honeymoon” phase here (not to mention, may well get itchy feet in a few months), I can honestly say yes, yes indeed. I’m very glad I made the move.

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