Cuenca Ecuador Expat Living Day In The Life

We share another typical day in our life in this Cuenca Ecuador Expat Living video. After my morning massage, we had a late lunch with friends, visited an organic shop in El Centro, walked around this beautiful city taking pictures and ended our afternoon at Zatua Miski for a peanut butter chocolate ice cream bar.

The next morning, we woke to a beautiful day during the rainy season here in Cuenca Ecuador, so we decided to take Daisy for a walk along the river. Little did we know that a pothole had my name on it.

Cuenca Ecuador MassageMassage Cuenca Ecuador Jerri

Part of my Cuenca Ecuador Expat Living involves a massage every Friday morning at Jerri’s house. She’s another American expat living here in Cuenca and a very talented masseuse. She helps my back pain tremendously!

Back in Denver, I could only  afford one massage per month, but here in Cuenca I get one every week. Jerri charges $30 for an hour and $45 for 90 minutes.

Massage Cuenca Ecuador Table

I especially like her heated massage table and the relaxing atmosphere. And she’s only a short walk from our house.

Special Lunch at Namaste India

Chinnu and Abin brought back some white lentil flour from India and invited the India crew for a special lunch at Namaste India. Chinnu made fresh dosa, sambar and coconut chutney, and it was AMAZING!!! Abin is going to gain 200 pounds from Chinnu’s cooking!

Dosa is an Indian pancake made with white lentil flour while sambar (pronounced samba) is a traditional southern Indian breakfast stew made with lots of vegetables. We ate this breakfast almost every morning during our time in Kerala India for Chinnu and Abin’s wedding.

However, we can’t get dosa here in Ecuador because white lentils aren’t available here. Additionally, Chinnu says it’s very difficult to make here because of the cool temperature and high altitude affect the batter somehow.

This was our first time eating coconut chutney, but it was equally amazing. It was very rich and spicy! We were very thankful, as always, to be invited for this special lunch.

Semilla Organic Shop CuencaSemilla Cuenca Ecuador CBD Oil

Paul and Patrick go to Semilla often for their organic supplies. However, we had never been there before so the four of us walked down there after our lunch at Namaste.

We met the owners of Semilla (which means “seed” in Spanish) at a marriage celebration party for Chinnu and Abin last week so we were excited to visit their store. It’s located about 1/2 block north of Calle Larga on Mariano Cueva.

They sell a large variety of organic foods and beauty products, including several from our favorite vendors such as Franco Organico, Panda Cakes Cuenca and Zatua Miski.

Several people have asked me about getting CBD Oil here in Cuenca Ecuador, and they also sell that. We’ve seen it in a few other stores around town, too. It helped a lot with the neuropathy in my feet and legs following my spinal cord damage and surgeries.

Cuenca El Centro Photo Gallery

After we left Semilla, it was such a beautiful day that we decided to walk around El Centro in downtown Cuenca Ecuador. Rather than film this part of our Cuenca Ecuador Expat Living, I decided to switch over to photo mode and take some pictures. This city is incredibly photogenic! Click the photos to enlarge.

Zatua Miska Ice Cream BarZatua Miski Helado

After a loop around El Centro, we walked by Zatua Miski for a delicious ice cream bar. This is a relatively new menu item that we hadn’t tried yet. The folks at Semilla were raving about it, so Amelia was determined to try it. And the most appropriate word to describe it is “WOW”! We got the manicho, which is maní (peanut butter) and chocolate. O-M-G! You have to try one!

The Fall

The next morning, we woke to a beautiful day so we decided to include a walk along the Yanuncay River in this Cuenca Ecuador Expat Living video.

I had my camera mounted to my gimbal, which is a pretty heavy contraption, but it makes for some really amazing and smooth motion shots. We were waiting to cross the street near the Yanuncay River trail when a motorcycle pulled up to the intersection. It started to turn right heading away from us, so we stepped off the curb into the street.

Where I Fell Cuenca Ecuador

At the last second, the motorcycle driver changed his mind and turned left in front of us. I took a half step sideways and stepped on the rim of a pothole. My ankle rolled and I hit the ground like a sack of potatoes on top of my camera and gimbal.

Laying flat on my stomach in the middle of the street, all I could think about was my camera! I checked it first to make sure it was ok. Then I realized I was in a lot of pain. My elbow was throbbing from where it hit the pavement, my bloodied right hand was smashed between the gimbal and the street and my left palm had sand embedded in it and my left wrist was also hurt.

But those were minor injuries compared to my left ankle. I tried to stand up, but couldn’t put any weight on it. Amelia had to help me get to the curb. After sitting for a minute, I was able to stand up and Amelia told me to walk it off. That’s her motto for every injury!

After a few minutes, it started feeling better so we decided to continue our walk. In retrospect, that was a bad idea. The endorphins and my nerve damage were masking the pain and the extent of the injury. When we got back home, I took my shoes and socks off. That’s when we realized it was a lot worse than we thought.

We took these pictures the next day and the swelling had already gone down a little. My ankle was the size of a grapefruit when we got home from our walk.

Thanks to my anti-inflammatory superpower nutrition, my injuries are already a lot better on day three. The swelling has gone down a lot and I’m able to put a little weight on my left foot. I should be back to normal in a week or two.

The moral of the story is to ALWAYS look where you step! This could have happened anywhere and had nothing to do with Cuenca. That pothole was in the right place at the wrong time. I’m just really thankful my camera is still working and only sustained a few scrapes of its own.

Watch Our Video About Our Day in The Life in Cuenca Ecuador



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Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!

6 replies
  1. Donna Woodford
    Donna Woodford says:

    Planning on being in Cuenca beginning October 9th. What is going on for Dia de Las Razas? Will businesses be closed, any parades? How is Columbus Day celebrated there? I’ll be staying at Otorongo, but haven’t asked the staff about any activities yet. TY.

    • JP
      JP says:

      Columbus Day isn’t really celebrated here. There’s a large indigenous population that doesn’t have a very positive view of Columbus and the crusades that followed him.

  2. Galería Ombligo
    Galería Ombligo says:

    Dear Amelia and Jp,

    We like your blog very much.

    We have a gallery that representes local artists, we’re very interested in inviting you to come and visit us. We are having an opening on August 1, we’d like you to come before the opening at your convenience. We are open from Wednesday to Saturday from 10:30 to 16:00. If you like to make an appointment contact Al.
    We are located at 7-38 Coronel talbolt in San Sebastián.
    We hope to see you soon.

    Thank you,
    Al and Isaac

    • JP
      JP says:

      Thank you for the invitation! However, Amelia will be in the States until August 7th so we won’t be able to attend this opening. I can’t film without the star of the show. I may stop by and take some pictures for our blog and social media, though. What time on August 1st is best?

  3. Angela
    Angela says:

    Hi I have been watching your videos for about two weeks now and I love your perspective. I lived in Vilcabamba for three month for the past three months and spent about four months in Oylltatambo Peru also last year. I am thinking seriously of coming to Cuenca in January 2020. I loved Vilcabamba I just want to experience another place in Ecuador. I will have my Masters in Reiki and would like to have a space to accommodate my practice in the place I live. Do you have any idea if there are any Reiki practitioners there or if you are familiar with any? Also I just wanted to get another perspective on living in Cuenca and I listened to a man who had a totally different twist on living in Cuenca than y’all have. He gave a bleak description of people living under $1500 a month. Said if your budget is $800-$1000 find another place to go. I live a very simple life. I am Vegan and I don’t do much when it comes to spending money. Generally I stay in a room that has a shared kitchen or my own kitchen very similar to the place y’all stayed in while you looked for a house. If you could send the name of the place I would really appreciate it. I walk or ride a bike everywhere and shop in the Mercado. Do you think I would survive living off such a low budget of $800-$1000 a month. One more thing I love how high your energy is in your videos and especially Amelia’s smile is so beautiful and bright. And sorry JP about your fall and how you hurt yourself so bad OUCH!!! Feel better!!! Stay real I love your videos!!!

    • JP
      JP says:

      Hola Angela!

      Jerri, my massage therapist, also does Reiki but she’s the only one I know of.

      Have you seen our cost of living video? We go into a lot of detail about costs here. The two of us live a very comfortable life here on roughly $2K/month, but we could save a lot by renting a smaller place. We think a single person could easily live here on under $1K/month. It really depends on how much you pay for rent and food. Those are the biggest flexible expenses. We have a friend who rents a room from an Ecuadorian family and shares their kitchen for $100/month and she’s vegan so her food cost is very low.

      Here’s the video we did on the short term stay place we stayed at while looking for a place to rent. You can find cheaper places than this one. Hostals are very nice and numerous here. Some friends stayed in one while they looked for an apartment and really liked it. We’re going to do a video on hostals soon.

      Glad you’re enjoying our videos! Keep us posted and let us know if you have more questions.


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