Keukenhof Tulip Garden Spring 2019 Amsterdam – India Part 4 (Episode 97)

We hope you enjoy our tour of the amazingly beautiful Keukenhof Tulip Garden just south of Amsterdam. It’s only open for 2 months out of the year while the tulips are blooming so we were fortunate to be there during that small window on a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day.

It was a beautiful place, as you can see in the video and the photos below, and we highly recommend visiting if you’re here in the spring. However, there were a LOT of people so be prepared. We went at the worst possible time: Easter Sunday at 11AM. The best times to go are when they first open or when late in the day before they close, and on a weekday. Avoid weekends if you don’t like being elbow to elbow with other people.

Keukenhof Tulip Garden Photo Gallery

The flowers were unreal, and my camera did a good job of capturing their amazing beauty. Click to Enlarge.

Other videos in this series:

  1. Our Journey from Cuenca Ecuador to South Beach Miami – India Part 1 (Episode 94)
  2. Drama at 35,000 Feet + AirBnB Apartment Tour – India Part 2 (Episode 95)
  3. Amsterdam In Spring 2019 + Canal Tour – India Part 3 (Episode 96)

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Amsterdam In Spring 2019 + Canal Tour – India Part 3 (Episode 96)

We TOTALLY lucked out on the weather during our stay in Amsterdam! It has been unseasonably warm following an unseasonably cold snap. We barely saw a cloud during our 5 days here! We’re off to India tomorrow!

Amsterdam Canal Cruise Tour Info

We took the Friendship Canal Cruise with Capitan Michelle aboard the Open Boat Sunshine. They also have Facebook and Instagram pages. Tell them Amelia And JP from YouTube sent you!

Lunch at Meatless District in Amsterdam

We spent an entire day walking around Amsterdam with my camera taking pictures (see below). Our meandering through the city had a purpose, though. We wanted to eat lunch at Meatless District, which is a popular plant-based vegan restaurant in Amsterdam.

All I can say is, “WOW!!!” It was amazing! The more vegan food we eat, the more we realize how delicious vegan food can be. Vegan chefs around the world are really hitting their stride!

The cucumber soda was delicious, too! Before I went plant-based, I HATED the taste of cucumber. One tiny piece in a salad or sushi and the dish was completely ruined. I’m pretty sure I could taste something with 1 parts per million of cucumber!

However, about a year after changing our diet, I tried cucumber again to see if my tastes had changed. I still didn’t like it, but it wasn’t too bad. It was tolerable. After another year, I tried it again and really liked it. Now we eat cucumber regularly in salads and as a dipping device for hummus. I still don’t love it, but I certainly like it, especially when it’s flavored with something.

My tastes have changed a LOT since going vegan and plant-based. I like all sorts of vegetables now that I couldn’t stand the sight of before. Keep that in mind if you want to go plant-based or vegan and you’re a picky eater like I was. Your tastes will change over time.

Amsterdam In Spring 2019 Photo Gallery

We didn’t see a cloud in the sky on this entire day of shooting in Amsterdam. The weather was perfect. There was no wind. And the city was on full display for this picture taking gringo. Click to enlarge. You want the full effect.

Other videos in this series:

  1. Our Journey from Cuenca Ecuador to South Beach Miami – India Part 1 (Episode 94)
  2. Drama at 35,000 Feet + AirBnB Apartment Tour – India Part 2 (Episode 95)

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Drama at 35,000 Feet + AirBnB Apartment Tour – India Part 2 (Episode 95)

We left Miami on British Airways and headed to Amsterdam via Heathrow. This video shares our journey across the pond, Amelia’s drama on the airplane and a tour of our super nice AirBnB apartment in the Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam.

Drama on British Airways from Miami to Heathrow

Our flight on British Airways from Miami to Heathrow left late at night so we were already tired when we boarded. About an hour into the 8 hour flight, they started offering the meal service. As is common, the vegans, vegetarians and food allergy people got theirs first.

Even though I was tired, I was even more hungry so I ate mine right away. The entree was a delicious rice pilaf with steamed mixed vegetables. It came with a vegan bun, vegan butter, mixed fruit, a small salad and a granola bar. After eating the entree, salad and fruit, I promptly fell asleep after setting the remaining items aside for later. Amelia ate part of her salad and then fell asleep.

When we woke up, both of our meals were gone! Amelia had not even opened her entree! But they took everything while we slept! Even my packaged items!

Unfortunately, they don’t stock extra vegan meals, so they couldn’t just bring Amelia another one. I’ve never seen her so mad about something before! She rang the call button with a force unbecoming of my little hummingbird and let the flight attendant have it.

The attendant was very apologetic and went to see if there was anything they could bring us. The head flight attendant returned with a few packaged vegan items and offered to give Amelia the vegan salad she bought for herself at the Whole Foods in Miami. Amelia refused to eat the generous woman’s food, but what an amazing gesture!

The flight attendant was vegetarian and lactose intolerant so she ate a mostly plant-based diet and could empathize with us. That’s a long flight to not have any food, especially when we went to the trouble of pre-ordering a vegan meal. Hopefully, they’ll learn a lesson from this and stop removing uneaten food from sleeping passengers 2 hours into an 8 hour flight.

Heathrow Airport Abysmal Vegan Food Selection

We had a 3 hour layover at Heathrow while we waited for our short flight to Amsterdam. It was lunchtime in England so all the food places were packed, but that didn’t matter for us because NONE of them had any vegan options! At least nothing more than a plain salad or steamed rice.

We packed some PB&J’s for our trip and still had 2 left so weren’t going to starve, but after a long flight with our absconded meals, we wanted something other than yet another PB&J.

Luckily, Starbucks came to the rescue! They had a vegan breakfast wrap! We washed it down with a giant coffee and were good to go! Thank you again Starbucks for having vegan options!

SLA – Organic Salad Bar in Amsterdam

On our first night in Amsterdam, we went to SLA – Organic Salad Bar for dinner and it was super delicious! It was only a few blocks from our AirBnB in the Jordaan neighborhood. (click to enlarge)

Our First Morning in Amsterdam

Surprisingly, we woke up very early on our first morning in Amsterdam. That’s when we realized the city gets a late start. Nothing opened in our neighborhood until 8am so we walked around for awhile with the streets to ourselves. We turned a corner and saw the sun rising between the church steeples so I snapped a couple shots with my iPhone. What perfect timing!

Other videos in this series:

  1. Our Journey from Cuenca Ecuador to South Beach Miami – India Part 1 (Episode 94)

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Our Journey from Cuenca Ecuador to South Beach Miami – India Part 1 (Episode 94)

WE’RE GOING TO INDIA! Two of our friends from Namaste India in Cuenca are getting married in Kerala in Southern India and we’re going to their wedding!

Our first stop is South Beach Miami for 2 days before we head to Amsterdam for a week. We’re staying at the Residence Inn South Beach because we can cook some of our meals and Amelia gets points that we can use at any of Marriott’s properties. We have yet to pay for a night at the Courtyard in Guayaquil, and we used points to stay for several days at the Blue Moon Hotel in South Beach last fall.

Most of our time in Miami was spent shopping for things we can’t easily or affordably find in Ecuador, like an external hard drive, bathing suits, supplements and sunglasses. But we also spent some time relaxing on the beach.

We didn’t take any pictures during our time in Miami. We were busy filming and shopping. But I did take these with my iPhone on our way from Cuenca to Miami. The first two are sunset photos taken on our flight from Cuenca to Quito. The last one is the sunrise as we were approaching Miami the next morning. Thankfully, I was able to talk Amelia out of those sunglasses she spotted in the Quito Airport! Click the photos to enlarge.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Ecuador Visa Types & Process 2019 – Interview w/ Maité Durán at Gringo Visas (Episode 93)

We get a lot of questions about the types of Ecuador visas and the process for getting a visa in Ecuador so we arranged an interview with Maité Durán at Gringo Visas. She and her team helped Amelia and me get our temporary resident visas when we decided to move to Ecuador.

Maité founded Gringo Visas over 9 years ago after she moved back to Ecuador from Connecticut. She thought the process was very confusing and difficult to navigate as an Ecuadorian native trying to get visas for her US born children, so she thought it must REALLY be difficult for non-native Spanish speakers moving from another country. That’s when the idea for Gringo Visas was born.

Now she has an office in Cuenca and one in Danbury, Connecticut with 4 employees who help people get visas, cedulas, drivers licenses, marriage licenses, health insurance and bank accounts on a daily basis. The laws and regulations are constantly changing here in Ecuador, so having an expert on the ground who stays up-to-date on the changes will make your life much easier.

There are other companies that offer visa services in Ecuador, but we only worked with Gringo Visas so we can’t attest to any of the others. If you would like to contact Gringo Visas, visit the Gringo Visas Contact Us page and be sure to tell Maité that Amelia And JP sent you.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

High Cholesterol on a Vegan Plant-Based Diet + Bloodwork In Cuenca Ecuador (Episode 92)

We recorded this video several weeks ago, but it kept getting pushed down the queue for other, more time relevant videos.

Since we recorded it, the Nut Wars between Jeff Nelson at VegSource and Dr. Joel Fuhrman have simmered down, but that doesn’t make this issue less concerning for people like me (JP) with a strong family history of heart disease and a long-term battle with high cholesterol.

This video isn’t about the science or the confusion about cholesterol that has been systematically manufactured by the dairy, meat, egg, nut, cooking oil, avocado and other high-fat product industries. I’ll share the science below in case you’re wondering about it. Instead, our video is about MY frustration with the plant-based doctors for not coming to consensus on this very important topic.

Fuhrman, Greger and other doctors say nuts are the key to living longer. Ornish and Esselstyn say they contribute to heart disease and can shorten our lives. Both sides can’t be right and they owe it to those of us in the high-risk heart disease category to put their egos aside and agree on the best recommendation.

If you have total cholesterol under 150 without paying any attention to your saturated fat intake, good for you. Please think of me when you’re chowing down on nuts, avocados, chocolate and coconut oil.

My History with High Cholesterol

When I was 34 years old, I got routine blood work done for keyman life insurance policy for my business. My business partner was 10 years older than me, but his premium was half the cost of mine. That prompted the question: why?

My total cholesterol was 270! If you want to know the truth about cholesterol, just look at the stance taken by life insurance companies. They’re in the business of assessing risk, and they know high cholesterol is a risk factor for sudden death. Some life insurance companies like Health IQ are now giving discounts to vegans due to our lower risk of death compared to non-vegans.

After getting this shocking news, I went to see my doctor to find out what could be done, and he recommended a Mediterranean-style diet with fish, lean mean, olive oil, fruits, veggies and no more than 2 eggs per week. NOW I know that diet is a recipe for heart disease, not a cure for it.

After a few months on this diet, regular exercise and 10 pounds of weight loss, my cholesterol barely moved so he put me on a statin and told me there was nothing else I could do.

That simply wasn’t true.

On the statin, the lowest my cholesterol got was 196. Eating a vegan whole-food plant-based diet without a statin, my total cholesterol has been as low as 188.

Our Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet

Before I share links to the science and my cholesterol numbers, I think it’s important to discuss our diet. For the past 3 years, we’ve been 100% vegan, consuming no cholesterol-laden animal products.

For the past 2 years, we’ve eaten a Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) Diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans) and a few seeds (chia and flax for Omega-3), but almost no nuts or oil.

Almost 9 months ago, after finding out my total cholesterol was still 225 (the exact average cholesterol level of heart disease victims), I cut out all oil, nuts, avocados and chocolate. We even ask our restaurants to cook without oil for us.

We tracked our diet on MyFitnessPal for a month after going truly low-fat, no-oil and I averaged 10% fat, 15% protein and 75% carbs. Amelia’s was a little higher in the fat category because of her chocolate addiction.

Even with this truly low-fat diet recommended by the experts on heart disease prevention and reversal, Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Ornish, I still have high total cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL (good) cholesterol and high triglycerides. That’s 4 for 4 in terms of heart disease risk.

And considering my family has a strong history of heart disease and stroke, I’d say it’s a safe bet that I have heart disease that just hasn’t manifested itself yet.

In the video, I mentioned Amla Powder as a treatment for high cholesterol. It’s dehydrated, powdered Indian gooseberry and has been shown to lower cholesterol in most people as effectively as statin drugs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to work for me.

How Do We Know Cholesterol Causes Heart Disease?

Most people are very confused about cholesterol thanks to the efforts of high-fat food industries like meat, dairy, eggs, oil, nuts, avocados, etc. Some people are even adamant that cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease. They think it has been unfairly maligned by the sugar industry, which is the real cause of heart disease.

While sugar products are no-doubt unhealthy, our heart disease epidemic is due almost entirely to foods that are high in cholesterol and/or saturated fat. The below video by Dr. Greger at is a great review of the science showing how we know, without a doubt, that heart disease is caused by high blood serum cholesterol, especially high LDL cholesterol.

The dairy industry launched a full-scale assault on this science starting back in 2012 to manufacture doubt where none exists because their profits were tanking. They even had me believing their corporate junk science for a while, and some people very close to me still believe it, but it’s simply the best marketing money can buy. Don’t believe a word of it.

What Are the Optimal Cholesterol Levels?

Based on decades of legitimate, irrefutable science, the optimal cholesterol levels to avoid heart disease are total cholesterol below 150 and LDL (bad) cholesterol below 70. In populations around the world, with cholesterol levels below these numbers, heart disease is almost non-existent.

What Are MY Cholesterol Levels?

Here are the results from my last blood test.

Total Cholesterol: 195

In the medical profession, a total cholesterol below 200 is considered “normal.” But nearly 1/3 of all heart disease patients have a total cholesterol between 150 and 200, which means “normal” is actually abnormal. Ideally, my total cholesterol should be below 150.

LDL (Bad) Cholesterol: 109

In the medical profession, LDL cholesterol below 100 is considered normal. But the optimal level is below 70. Again, in populations around the world with LDL below 70, heart disease is unheard of.

HDL (Good) Cholesterol: 42

The medical profession likes to focus on the good HDL cholesterol. They say having an HDL above 40 is optimal, but in reality, HDL is almost meaningless. That’s because if your total and LDL cholesterol are low enough, in the optimal range, HDL doesn’t matter. This measure is unimportant in terms of heart disease risk.

Triglycerides: 219

The optimal range for triglycerides is below 100, but the medical profession says anyone with triglycerides above 150 is at elevated risk of heart disease. My blood test from 9 months ago when my total cholesterol was 225 (before we went truly low-fat) showed triglycerides of 296, so that has improved, but it’s still not good enough.

Based on these test results, which are actually quite a bit better than past tests, I’m at high risk for heart disease. Considering my long-term battle with high cholesterol and a strong family history of heart disease, I think it’s a safe bet I have undiagnosed heart disease.

Additionally, heart disease might actually be the cause of my degenerative disc disease, as well as my struggle with breathing at high altitude here in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Nut Wars 2019 Between Jeff Nelson and Dr. Joel Fuhrman

The motivation for this video came from what I call the Nut Wars 2019 between Jeff Nelson at VegSource and Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Here are the videos I’m referring to.

You may notice that Dr. Fuhrman isn’t featured in any of these videos, yet he suggested in his interview with Plant Based News that Nelson’s criticisms were directed squarely at him. A case of guilty conscious or maybe extreme narcissism? 🤔

Nuts Won’t Save Your Life (Part 1 of Nuts)

Nuts Studies Are a Hoax (Part 2 of Nuts)

You Don’t Need Added FAT to Absorb Nutrients (Part 3 of Nuts)

Nuts and Heart Disease – Dr. Esselstyn (Part 4 of Nuts)

More Nut Industry Lies Exposed (Part 5 of Nuts)

Dr. Joel Fuhrman Loses His Mind in Plant Based News Interview

Dr. Fuhrman accuses people like Esselstyn, Ornish and Jeff Nelson of trying to protect their legacy despite contradictory science. However, this appears to be a severe case of projection.

He has a long legacy of recommending nuts, even to heart disease patients. He also sells nuts and nut butters on his website. If anyone is attempting to protect a legacy, I think it’s Fuhrman. Jeff Nelson has no legacy to protect. He’s simply trying to determine what the truth is.

You can also read Dr. Fuhrman’s rebuttal on his website: The Attack Against Nuts and Seeds—Getting Nuttier All The Time. Rather than refute Nelson’s review of the science, Fuhrman resorts to name calling and ad hominem attacks while insisting that studies funded by the industries that benefit from positive results have no impact on the findings.

If you think industry funding doesn’t affect the outcome of studies like Dr. Fuhrman suggests, you should consider reading Unsavory Truth by Dr. Marion Nestle.

Unsavory Truth Nestle

She has devoted her entire professional career as a scientist to studying corruption in the food industry and she has proven without doubt that the funding source affects the study methodology, the outcomes and the conclusions. In fact, she calls industry funded studies “marketing studies” because their sole purpose is to sell more products, not discover scientific truth.

Dr. Fuhrman needs to read Nestle’s book before suggesting that funding source doesn’t matter.

Heart Disease Experts Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Ornish

For the time being, I’m going to continue to trust the advice of Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Ornish when it comes to heart disease prevention and reversal. If you have heart disease or a history of high cholesterol, I suggest reading both of their books:

To reiterate, I don’t care WHO is right! I only care WHAT is right! This is a serious issue for people like me with genetically high cholesterol and a strong family history of heart disease. The experts in the plant-based community need to put their egos aside, stop protecting their legacies, and come to consensus on this issue to prevent more unnecessary premature deaths.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Cuenca Ecuador Day In The Life + Lunch at Origami Sushi Cuenca (Episode 91)

We’re back to business as usual with this Cuenca Ecuador Day In The Life video. Several people have asked us about organic or natural stores here in Cuenca, so we show you two of them in this video. Plus, we had some delicious vegan sushi for lunch at Origami.

As a reminder, we’re leaving for Amsterdam and India in a few days so our posting schedule will be a bit erratic. Please sign up for our newsletter and I’ll do my best to let you know when we’re going to post our next video.

La Chakra Mercado Natural

Our first stop was at La Chakra Mercado Natural on Doce de Abril near La Universidad de Cuenca and next to Samsara Yoga. They have all sorts of natural food and beauty products. They also have a La Chakra Facebook Page.

La Chakra Cuenca

We bought a bag of organic, locally sourced maca powder that we put in our breakfast oats. We also bought a protein snack bar from Panda Cakes Cuenca. My vegan rock climbing friend, Pietro, makes those and sells them in natural stores around Cuenca. Amelia also bought some cruelty free natural deodorant, which is quite a bit more expensive in Ecuador than back in the states.

La Chakra Snack Bar

Museo Del Sombrero

Our second stop was at Museo Del Sombrero to get my hat repaired. It got really wet while Stephen was rock climbing, which caused the band to come loose. We love our panama hats and it’s really nice that they keep them maintained for free.

Museo Del Sombrero

Amelia and I tried on several hats while we waited just for fun.

Museo Del Sombrero Cuenca Amelia Hat

Museo Del Sombrero Cuenca JP Hat

We also went upstairs for a cup of coffee and beautiful views of Cuenca.

Museo Del Sombrero Coffee Shop

Museo Del Sombrero Cuenca View

La Primavera Cuenca

There are several La Primavera stores around Cuenca. They carry a variety of health foods, like protein powders, nuts, seeds, vitamins, etc.

La Primavera Cuenca El Centro

Our friends Jimmy and Sharon told us the one on Mariano Cueva y Calle Gran Colombia sold Mate de Coca or Té de Coca, which helps with altitude sickness.

La Primavera Cuenca El Centro Map

Sometimes I get a little light headed and short of breath when the weather changes, and this tea helps alleviate the symptoms. Unfortunately, they were out of the tea so we’ll have to try someplace else.

Mate de Coca

Origami Japanese Kitchen and Sushi Bar Cuenca

We like going to Origami Sushi in Cuenca because they have a lot of vegan options and it’s far less expensive than Noe Sushi. Origami is located on Calle Larga y Mariano Cueva. They have a tiny storefront that’s easy to miss. Just look for the Origami sign on the door.

Origami Sushi Cuenca Door

They have an entire page dedicated to vegetarian (it’s actually vegan) sushi rolls and options. Plus, their Miso Soup is also vegan and they don’t use oil in any of the rolls or the soup.

Origami Sushi Cuenca Miso Soup

We ordered the Yasai Combination plus a Mango Roll.

Origami Sushi Cuenca Yasai Combo

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Ciao, Vegans Abroad: Yes, We’re Still Vegan (Episode 90)

After MONTHS of consideration and an informal poll from many of our friends and fans, we have decided to change our YouTube Channel name from “Vegans Abroad” to plain old “Amelia and JP”.

Yes, we’re still vegan. That hasn’t changed. But we realized that our channel is about far more than veganism. In fact, we only spend about 10 to 20% of our time talking about vegan issues, and we don’t mention it at all in many of our videos.

Our channel is a Lifestyle VLOG that’s mainly about us living our normal lives as gringo expat vegans in Cuenca, Ecuador. We share a lot of “day in the life” videos and videos about gentle minimalism, expat living, moving abroad, medical issues, health and nutrition, our dogs, dog rescues, events in Cuenca, travel abroad, cooking, etc. It’s a smorgasbord of topics!

Because of this and our minimal discussion of veganism, we haven’t attracted many vegans to our channel. The vast majority of our subscribers are non-vegans who are contemplating a move to Ecuador or someplace outside of the US. Our second largest subscriber group are Ecuadorians who currently live in the States. They like to see videos of their beautiful homeland.

If either of these groups are searching on Google or YouTube for topics that we cover, many will scroll right by when they see our channel name, thinking we’re going to bombard them with vegan information or slaughterhouse videos, which we don’t do.

If people see our videos in search results several times, but never click to watch them, YouTube eventually stops showing our videos to them, which spells death to our channel.

As you can see in the sample search result below from YouTube, “Vegans Abroad” is plainly visible just below the video title. Yet, we only mentioned veganism once in this video when we said we didn’t know how much meat costs.

YouTube Amelia And JP Search Result

The same thing would happen if we were “Christians Abroad” instead of “Vegans Abroad”. YouTube would likely not show our videos in search results for Muslims or Jewish people. That’s just the way interest-based search algorithms work. YouTube wants to show people videos that they want to watch.

We think this rebranding will help us grow our channel and remove our subscriber cap. While we do hope our subscribers will follow our example and adopt a vegan lifestyle, we also don’t want to alienate people who aren’t quite there yet. Everyone is on their own journey at their own pace, and we want our channel to be easier to find and more appealing regardless of life stage.

Other than the name change, everything else will be business as usual. If you have any feedback for us or comments, we’d love to hear them! Leave us a comment on YouTube or below.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Rock Climbing in the Rain at Cojitambo Ecuador (Episode 89)

When Stephen said he wanted to come visit us here in Cuenca Ecuador, his main request was to do some adventure sports. Lucky for him, our friend Pietro is a rock climber and we have a great climbing mountain not far from Cuenca called Cojitambo.

If you missed our last video showing Stephen playing like a kid at Aventuri Cuenca, you can check that out here: Aventuri Adventure Park in Cuenca.

Terminal Terrestre de Cuenca

We started our day by taking a $2 cab ride to Terminal Terrestre de Cuenca near the airport. From there, we took two buses to get to the base of Cojitambo.

Cuenca to Azogues to Cojitambo

It costs 10 cents to enter the area where the buses are located. Pietro bought the tickets for us at this kiosk, which allowed us to enter through the gate to the bus loading zone.

Pietro Terminal Terrestre Tickets

The bus ride from Cuenca to Azogues was 75 cents and the bus ride up to the base of Cojitambo was 50 cents. In total, counting the cab rides, we spent $4.70 to get to Cojitambo and another $4.50 for both of us to get back home.

Terminal Terrestre “Segundo Serrano” in Azogues

The Terminal Terrestre “Segundo Serrano” in Azogues is much smaller than Cuenca’s bus terminal, but it does have several food vendors and shops, plus a bathroom. Stephen walked into el baño de las mujeres (on the right) and was quickly ushered out by the bathroom attendant. Pietro said that Stephen must have thought he was in Scotland and the ladies bathroom sign must have represented a kilt. 😂

Terminal Terrestre Azogues

We changed buses to go from Azogues to the base of Cojitambo.

Azogues Terminal Terrestre to Cojitambo

Rock Climbing at Cojitambo Ecuador

The bus dropped us off on the main road and we walked about 1 to 2 kilometers up a dirt road to the base of Cojitambo.

Cojitambo Bus

Amelia and I visited this mountain on our exploratory trip just over 2 years ago. On the top of the mountain there are more Inca ruins and beautiful views of the surrounding area. You can even see the Biblián Church from there.

We went to the base of one climbing wall, but right when we arrived there, it started raining really hard.

Cojitambo Climbing Wall 1

Pietro said it would be too difficult to climb that wall in the rain so we walked a little further up to a wall that wasn’t as steep.

Cojitambo Climbing Wall 2

It was raining very hard but they still climbed anyway. You can see the rain in the video and this picture.

Cojitambo Climbing in the Rain

I was really impressed with Stephen’s climbing ability. He scurried up the wall like an expert! And in the rain, no less!

Stephen Top

Stephen Repelling

After Stephen repelled back down from his climb to the first pitch, he and Pietro went back up to the second pitch, which was higher and steeper.

Stephen Pietro Climbing

If not for the rain, they would have kept climbing, but we were all soaked so after two climbs, we called it a day and headed back to Cuenca. You can see how hard it was raining from the river running down the road.

Cojitambo Road River

It was so wet, this cute little bug couldn’t keep his wings dry despite his best efforts to wipe them clean with his leg.

Cojitambo Bug

Here are some stills of the flower shots I took.

On the walk back down the road to the catch the bus back to Azogues, we saw lots of chickens with dogs maintaining a watchful eye on them.

Rooftop dogs are a common sight in Ecuador. These guys were so cute!

Just as we reached the end of the dirt road, a bus going back to Azogues stopped to drop some people off and we hopped on to start our journey back to Cuenca. It was sunny for most of our walk down the mountain, but it started to rain again as we approached the main road. You can see the water on my lense.

Cojitambo Bus to Azogues

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Aventuri Adventure Park in Cuenca (Episode 88)

Our friend Stephen is visiting us from Denver for a few days and he requested some adventure activities while he’s here. Our first stop was at the Aventuri Adventure Park in Cuenca next to the white Turi Church.

In our next video, Stephen goes rock climbing in Azogues so be sure to check that out.

Aventuri Adventure Park Cuenca

The park costs $1 to enter and that comes with a few basic attractions plus beautiful views of Cuenca. Stephen did every available attraction and paid a total of $15 including the $1 entry fee. The sign below shows something that looks like bungee jumping, but that wasn’t available.

Aventuri Sign

Stephen is quite the daredevil..this bridge is very high off the ground. There is no way I would EVER do that!

Stephen Bridge

They also have 3 zip lines.

Stephen Zip Line

Aventuri is famous for this swing, and it didn’t disappoint. It provides amazing views of the city.

Stephen Swing City

Amelia preferred this more relaxing gratis (free) swing, although she hurt her tailbone getting into it; it’s still not healed from her fall a couple weeks ago.

Amelia Swing

Mall del Río Cuenca

After Stephen did all the rides at Aventuri, we walked down the hill to Mall del Río to find Stephen a nice shirt for Salsa Dancing. You can see him dancing in our last video, Dos Cumpleaños + Salsa en Cuenca.

Mall del Rio Cuenca

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Links to Info & Places We Visited in the Video