June 07, 2012

The Love of Soccer (futbol) in Cuenca Ecuador

Ecuadorians love playing futbol. It is an outdoor sport that the whole family gets involved in, even mom and dad. Our neighbors are often seen playing futbol out in the front of their house and our son Brandon joins in on the game as well. Rain or shine, which here in Cuenca can often be sprinkling or raining, you can see families in the parks, front yards, school grounds, beaches, and in the roads kicking a ball around.
Anyone who knows anything about Latin American culture knows that futbol is just a variation of soccer and it is a game which uses a soccer ball, not a football. They call it futbol because you are kicking a soccer ball around and trying to get it into the opposing goalie. It is a fun ball game that helps families and friends enjoy time together, which is a good thing.
Fewer households own computers or video game consoles in Ecuador and so the younger generation is usually outside enjoying the fresh Andes Mountain air and getting some exercise. We often play soccer with the children at the children's home on Saturday. They love playing futbol.
Deportivo Cuenca – Professional Football Team
It’s not all fun and games, however. Cuencanos and Cuencanas take professional futbol (Deportivo Cuenca is the Cuenca team) very seriously, we are told. Regrettably the crowds in the stands, if Cuenca is losing, can even become, let’s say, unruly and a little bit offensive with their language; if you don’t understand Spanish this is a good thing. If you understand the language, you might be somewhat put off.
There are 201 football clubs in Ecuador so that kind of tells you how popular this sport truly is. Deportivo Cuenca is in the Primera Categoría for the 2011 season. There are seven Cuenca clubs affiliated with the Professional Football Association of Azuay.
Cuenca Football Stadium Weather Forecast
Futbol is so popular in Cuenca that they have a weather forecast online http://www.myweather2.com/Football/Ecuador/CD-Cuenca.aspx just for the football stadium!
Notice the humidity levels on the chart; this means that on cooler days it can feel damp and chilly and will need a sweater, and on warmer we’ve worked up a sweat just walking around when its only 72 degrees outside. The weather chart goes on to say that in June there is an average humidity level of 73% and that on the higher side of humidity levels , coupled with sunnier days in June - caution is advised for active people.
Quote: Given average maximum temperatures and humidity levels caution is advised. Fatigue is possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity for those in high risk groups of possible heat disorders (see heat index for more information).
What does that mean to us? We always bring a hat and plenty of water so that when the sun is out we can take care to not over expose ourselves. And when it is damp and chilly we put on a couple of sweaters and jackets, which we always have handy in our back packs.

June 06, 2012

Ocean View Hotel in Salinas Ecuador

We stumbled upon this hotel by accident. It's a wonderful hotel with swimming pool, restaurant, WIFI, etc. The views were wonderful! And the price wasn't that bad either. Still, as frugal as we are we only stayed here a couple of nights and found a nice hostel (video coming soon) with a kitchenette for a better rate for the longer term vacationer.


June 05, 2012

Salinas Ecuador Point (Mar Bravo)

Frank and I ventured clear over to the other side of the point of Salinas one morning. From our terrace you can see far off in the distance and you can even see the ocean, but when we walked over there all you could see was desert, no ocean. There was a road that went to the beach but it looked like about two more miles to the ocean and we we're tired of walking under the sun so we headed back. This other side of the point is called "Mar Bravo" and there is nothing out there but a few homes and sand with sage brush. We did see a house for sale, listed a few weeks ago, on OLX.com in the Mar Bravo area for $25k.


June 04, 2012

Healthy at Salinas Beach Ecuador

We’ve been to the beaches of Ecuador twice now and each time, after about three days our persistent Cuenca sniffles completely cleared up. We attribute this to the fact that the sun shines almost every single day and there are no mold issues inside the hostels and hotels that we were staying at or anywhere that the eye could see.
This time we’re in Beautiful Salinas Ecuador where relative humidity is about the same as, or a little higher than in Cuenca according to humidity readings for both areas and online weather forecasts.
(More on this later …so stay tuned to this blog for updated weather/climate conditions in Cuenca EC.)
Salinas is the driest of the coastal beaches with an annual rainfall of about 23 inches. Ouch! Although Salinas coast has a rainy season, it still does not rain all that much. In the three weeks we were in Salinas it only rained, which was actually only a trickle of rain, one time. Because of the lack of cloud cover, the rest of the time it was sun, sun, and more sun. Forgot what that was like, here in Cuenca. Saying that the sun is strong here in Salinas is like saying the Grand Canyon is a hole in the ground. You don’t want to be walking around under it in the afternoons.

Ecuador Coast at Rainy Season
The first time we went to the beach we were at the central coast of Ecuador during rainy season. It rained almost every day and our persistent sniffles still dried up. We attribute this to sunnier days that can actually dry out the air with the effect of less prevalence for mold and mildew to grow.
Humidity levels are a bit higher on the coast of Ecuador than in Cuenca but it is warmer with longer, sunnier days which help to dry things up, even your lungs and nasal passages. Besides that, swimming in the ocean and getting salt water into your pores is good for you and actually heals sickness, not only that but just breathing in salt air every day is really healthy. The best way to truly absorb good ole vitamin D into your system is through pure sunshine and the best place for that in Ecuador is at the Salinas playas!

June 03, 2012

Furnished Rental in Salinas Ecuador: Rent by the Week or Month

This is one of the rentals that we had an opportunity to take photos and video of.  It's off season right now (May) and so there are more rentals available. We still think this particular rental is asking too much. Remember: always negotiate the price of rental you are considering, whether you live in Salinas or Cuenca. Be a wise and diligent gringo.   

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