We need house sitter(s) for Cuenca, Ecuador from December 3, 2022 to January 5, 2023. We can be a little flexible (one or two days) with your arrival and departure dates, but we will be leaving early on December 5 and returning on January 4, if all flights go as planned. .Preferably, we would like a couple, but we've had single sitters who have had a great time, too.
Christmas in Cuenca is special. All kinds of artisans typically set up booths around town. The streets are decorated. The big event of the year is the Christmas Eve Parade that can run for as long as 7-9 hours. It was small last year, but this year should be spectacular. People come from all over to participate with floats commemorating the birth of Jesus and others come just to watch. And New Year's Eve is special, too, with fireworks from one side of the city to the other. Some are visible from our 3rd floor window. People burn "monigotes" or small, stuffed manequins that represent the old year. Several New Year's Eve traditions are followed to make sure that the Old Year is gone and the New Year will be great.
We'd like a chance to meet you before we leave and show you around a bit. 3 female cats, 7 years old and spayed, require food, fresh water, love, and companionship as well as regular cleaning of boxes and their living environment. They are not allowed outside, but they have an enclosed patio and an enclosed balcony where they love to play.
Our house is large and has ample space for them and you. We offer a guest room for your use with a queen size bed and private bath with shower. WiFi Internet is available in most of the house. House has alarm system and electric fence. Floors are wood or ceramic - no carpets. The house has 3 floors and the cats pretty much run around on all of them. You will need first floor for general living. Bedroom and shower on 2nd floor - no bathtub. We have a full sized washer and hang the clothes under a glass roof in back to dry. We also have a gas dryer, but prefer to hang them in back.
Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar as its only currency. Credit cards are welcome in larger establishments such as the grocery store, though many small shops require cash.
Bus service is about 1- 2 blocks away and so far only costs 35 cents (USD) a ride. You will need a bus pass - cash is not accepted. It was $1.75 for the pass, plus however much money you want to put on the pass. Most taxi rides were about $2-$4.50 and we will provide the contact information for the reliable companies we use. The city center is about half an hour away, walking maybe 3 kilometers. Bus and trolley require a pass - you can't pay cash. The trolley pass was $0.75 and you can add as much as you want to it. Be sure to "validate" the pass before getting on the trolley.
Cuenca is at an altitude of approximately 8,200 feet (about 2,500 meters). It is surrounded by mountains and 4 rivers flow through it. The largest is the Tomebamba River which goes right in front of our house.
Flights to Cuenca (CUE) are available from UIO (Quito) or you can fly to GYE and drive about 3-6 hours up to Cuenca - depending on the condition of the main road - which has been very bad and often closed this year. The alternate route is heavily traveled and takes longer. It is about 8-10 hours by road from Quito. Flights to Cuenca fall under national rules and the luggage allowance is less than on international flights, even for backpacks.
Our Vet is just a few blocks away and can be reached He makes house calls in an emergency. He speaks limited English and knows exactly where the house is. He also provides transportation service to and from his nearby office for a small fee. If the cats need attention, he will hold the bill until we return, so you don't have to pay him.
Our previous housesitters ate many of their lunches in various restaurants in Cuenca for around $3.00 - $5.00 a meal and enjoyed themselves quite a bit. Other housesitters cooked more in the full kitchen, enjoying the opportunity to try new tastes. Cuenca has a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment opportunities.
Organic vegetables are sold next door twice a week, along with organic chicken and eggs, milk and cheese, and a variety of breads and other products. There is a bakery, a coffee shop, a hairdresser, and a small mom & pop grocery store next to our house.
Cuenca is known as one of the safest cities in the world. Entering Ecuador, a free 90 day visa is stamped in your passport. If you have been vaccinated for COVID, you may enter freely (as of Mar 22, 2021.) You will need proof of vaccination and recently the negative COVID test was not required. Make copies of your documents in case they request them at the airport. There is an online form to complete before flying to Ecuador.
You will most likely need to plan a night in a hotel or hostal in either Quito or Guayaqil before coming up to Cuenca - international flights arrive late and some roads are closed at night.
We look forward to your reply.