November 10, 2010


We were just taking a stroll around town when we ran into this fair at Cacique Duma and Paseo de Canaris. It was closed during the day so we decided to return in the evening and watch the excitement. I love old amusement parks, and although this one was a temporary traveling installation for the Independence Day holidays (it will close on November 19) it reminded me of Coney Island back in the day.

There was a lo-tech Ferris wheel,

bumper cars,

a small roller coaster,

carts of tasty food!

And, of course, a carousel right from the 1950s!

My only disappointment was that I didn't go on any of the rides. My friend doesn't do well on rides and I don't enjoy going on a ride by myself. I did suggest we go on one of the kiddie rides but his response was a vehement "That's a BABY ride!" Of course, my usual MO is to go on the fastest, most scary ride and then think "Oh, WHY did I do that?" as I'm walking away on shaky legs. This is one of those situations where I need to be saved from myself.

November 4, 2010

Fun at the Races

These events were hilarious. A wooden cart race followed by a burro "race" took place yesterday as part of the Cuenca Independence Day celebrations.

The starting point was at Benigno Malo and Calle Larga and the destination was Parque Paraiso. The carts rattled off at full gallop and didn't look particularly stable! Some participants were wearing helmets but a lot were not--I didn't follow the race but I imagine there were a few stumbles.

The cart race was followed by the burro race, which was more of an opportunity for the participants to dress up and have a good time. The burros were clearly not in the mood for exerting themselves and moved at a dignified pace.

Even if they were wearing silly hats.

Most of the participants were young and irreverent but this senora was taking her role pretty seriously.

It was very cheering, once again, to see kids, young adults, and older people, all engaged in a very low tech activity whose only apparent purpose was to laugh and have a good time.

(The following is not a Pollyannish or condescending observation!) There's a particular innocence of spirit at these events that I find very appealing and heartening. Obviously, festivals are not an everyday occurrence but even in the everyday, I have often noticed adults, including males, being playful with one another and even giggling when something strikes their funny bone. I guess I enjoy being around people who are not childish but comfortable with exhibiting childlike qualities when the occasion calls for it. It's a great way to stay optimistic and keep the blood pressure at a healthy level.