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Friday, September 9, 2011

Getting Prettied Up in Cuenca by Star

I'm very happy right now because I look great. I even got a pink bandana on that Caty, my new dog groomer, gave me.

It was about time that my mom found someone in Cuenca to pretty me up. It had been almost three months since I went to the beauty parlor at Brother Wolf in Asheville. I looked pretty messy, specially my paws. But mom somehow knows how to find the very best wherever we are; and, here in Cuenca, she found Caty Carrasco.

Getting beautiful is not pleasant all the time. I like the results, but they have to go way too close to my very private places; and, I also have to hold real still for a long time. Of course, having a mom like mine doesn't make it any easier... she has to take pictures of these embarrassing moments and forces me to publish them here for everyone to see.

I love Caty. She knows her stuff; she is very sweet and has a very special way with dogs, after all she has 14! She also comes to the house so I don't have to wait in a pen, a crate or anything. I'm like mom; I rather not wait at the beauty parlor. So, having Caty come here is the best way to get pretty, that's for sure.

Caty speaks English too, and this is a plus because, like dad, I'm still learning Spanish. So, I liked it when she called me "pretty girl." If you are in Cuenca and need a trim, a bath or your nails done, make sure your mom contacts Caty. I promise you'll like her!

You can contact Caty Carrasco at . She called my mom right back and was here right on time. She's a real jewel.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Around Cuenca, Another GREAT Day by Star

These outings that Efrain (from MIO Tours) plans for us are just incredible! I had another wonderful day last Friday with my buddy Java.

Mom says this was a particular special tour because we got to see where some battles were fought by Sucre and Simon Bolivar and that my grandfather would have loved it.

Our first stop was El Portete but mom kept calling it El Porquete and Parquete and many other names confusing everyone in the end. But they laughed a lot with all this name calling. I tell you, these humans can be quite silly sometimes. At any rate, the views from El Portete are just magnificent and I took them all in with awe. You have to go up a pretty good set of stairs towards the monument and I led the way.

But then Java beat me to the lookout... Where the heck was I? Probably sniffing around by the monument...

Check some of the views I took in from up there... awesome, ah!

We were heading towards the area where the sun is shinning in the back... the valley of Yunguilla. But first, we stopped in Giron and went to a very nice museum to hear about the battle of 1829 between Peru and La Gran Colombia which consisted of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. It was an amazing battle that Sucre with all his strategic smarts won, in spite of having less than half the number of soldiers than Peru.

Efrain had worked it out so Java and I had our own personal guards at the Museum of Giron. I never thought I would have a guard. He was very nice. His name was Diego. Java also had his own guard.

 They walked us around the gardens while our parents had the tour.

I sure would have loved to see inside though. But the gardens were indeed very beautiful. Do you see the row of boots in the picture above? The lady in charge of the museum loves to garden and uses old boots are planters... Pretty neat stuff...

After the museum we went to see the waterfalls, but it was raining so we didn't get to see much. Mom shot some cool pictures of some mountains that looked like the pyramids and of the waterfalls, while Java and I looked out the window wanting to go running around some more.

That doesn't look like rain to us? What's wrong with these folks? Do they think they are going to shrink with a little bit of drizzle? Oh well... so we went on to Yunguilla. Just before we got there we saw where a meteor had landed. Java and I wanted to go to the top of that mountain, but we had to stay in the car again! The humans didn't get out either, so I guess that was fair.

Once we arrived in Yunguilla we went to the Hosteria Sol y Agua, a very nice place where the humans ate lunch. We went for a walk around the property and saw some wild huge birds my mom called ostriches. They also allowed Java and me in the dining room thanks to Efrain.

However, once again we did not partake in the meal. My mom had a salad as usual, and I don't care to share that with her. However I could smell she also had a side of french fries, but none fell down to the floor for me to savor. Dad was another story. He had trout and a huge one, and went on and on about how good it was. Now, I love fish of any kind specially trout...But did he share? No way... that was just too much to bear.

But I am a dog, what can I say? So I quickly forgot my disappointment when we walked around the place.

After this stop, it was time to go home. Java and I were tired so we chilled in the back of the car. Java slept and I used him as my seat to prop me up to look out the window all the way back. What we saw was just too much to explain. We were even blessed with a rainbow. Perhaps one day you will see for yourself, in the meantime I'll share some of the pictures mom took.

And so our trip ended here and we felt blessed and thankful for the experience. We can't wait until we have our next. Mom says we are going to Cajas National Park. But before I leave, I want to share one more shot, this time of Java, Efrain and me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Am an Inca Dog in Ecuador by Star

Cojitambo Inca Ruins

A couple of weeks ago I had the best day ever since we arrived in Cuenca.  Our parents took my buddy, Java, and me in a tour of some awesome places close to Cuenca. MIO Tours and Efrain are just the best!!! Here, Java and I are ready to depart...
Our first stop was the Inca Ruins of Cojitambo which is a magical place pretty high up. In Cuenca we are at 8,500 feet while Cojitambo is at 14,500 + feet. But I must be acclimated because I ran and ran and ran through those ruins and up the mountain side by side my friend, Java, without any problems.

There are some awesome views from Cojitambo. Check this out.... No wnder the Incas chose this place... you can see forever from here.

When we got ready to leave I didn't want to go, and all the humans were calling me while I had to get my last run.That was the best part of the day for me by far. From Cojitambo we went to the town of Biblian to check out a church that was built onto this rock mountain.

Our friend and tour guide, Efrain, held us while our parents went in the church. I also wanted to go in, but I couldn't... they should let doggies go in the church. We also want to pray and enjoy the beauty.

But at least I got to check out the view... you can see for miles and miles from this church.
Once our parents had taken lots of pictures it was time to go... or so we thought. But our parents had to buy candles and Java and I had to wait patiently in the car while they lit the candles and said their prayers.

From there we went to what mom called a wonderful restaurant in the town of Paute called Corvel. I wouldn't know if it's good or not since neither Java nor I got anything to eat. Somethings are just not fair! But, at least they brought us water and let us in the place ...that's pretty good in my view. Java and I were happy to just chill and get some rest from all that running around we had done earlier.

After that the meal we stopped at some places where Java and I weren't allowed. So, I'm not talking about these. Mom and the other humans seemed to have enjoyed themselves while Java and I sat in the car. Hmm! Thankfully those were short stops... Then on our way back to Cuenca, Efrain took us the long way through some beautiful country.

After almost eight hours we got back home, tired but happy. This has been, by far, my best day here in Ecuador. And, guess what? Tomorrow we have another one of these tours planned. I can't wait to run with my buddy, Java, see his parents and my friend Efrain again. I wonder what he's got planned for us. I bet you is really fun!