Cuenca is a beautiful city with abundant night life. Often we don’t get up until 11 so we are fresh for the evening. We usually go to bed well after midnight. The weather stays at a fairly constant temperature so a walk along the river or Calle Larga is very comfortable, even romantic. We have been frequenting several clubs, admittedly Gringo clubs but that is where you find the best venues and entertainment. This is because the american covers and prices are high enough to stop most Ecuadorians from going. Many clubs are working to change this. We most often can be found at the Broken Bridge Bistro, A small venue bar and restaurant with a stage and an incredible selection of musicians. Pedro De Roxas is the house entertainer and is one of only two Bose rising stars. He knows over 400 songs by heart. Rafa is one of the best guitarists in Cuenca and plays frequently. Cindy Benson is a star from Broadway having been in Cats and Les Miz and is on the original cast albums of those. Matej is an internationally known blues harmonica player who did several performances before moving on to Colombia. Maca and Nael were a couple of Argentinians passing through that entertained us with great guitar and song. Another pair passing through that were incredible was a couple of young men playing clarinet and guitar swing music. The list goes on. We have been fortunate to meet all of them and develop a few friendships along the way. The normal attendance at these events has ranged from 4 to 25. The previous owner has become a great friend and Pam has been giving promotional suggestions for quite a while. The new owners are also quite good friends and we are helping as we can. I have developed some artisanal goat cheeses and liquors which have been very well received and once I am fully able to do it legally they have committed to purchasing. The goat cheese is especially sought after. Fresh goats milk is not so easy to source here but I now have a rancher that delivers it directly to my house. My home made Bailey’s style Irish Cream, Kahlua and Amaretto are also popular, in as much as real Baileys costs upwards of $65.00 a bottle and Kahlua over 50. Ecuadorian made substitutes can be had for about 8 but lack the same flavor.
We also go to the Jazz Society, another very small venue that features some well know Jazz artists like Sue Terry or Su Terry as she is known here. She plays a mean clarinet. They also have a waiter, Luis Ullauni , who plays at intermission. He is a classically trained guitarist and an incredible singer. I understand they have just made an album of his music and I am anxious to buy it. Most of these venues have a cover charge between free and 5 dollars with a few higher, like Matej and Cindy.
We just found another club in the Santa Canela, an older building restored to a great venue by Freddy Vasquez. He has the most complete modern bar that I have seen along with a very welcoming atmosphere. We are sure to spend some considerable time here. He is setting up a jazz venue downstairs soon.
So yeah, if youre not doing anything particularly important..Get on down here, its amazing. As I write this we are hearing a loud concert from somewhere nearby
Tomorrow morning early we are going to Machala on the coast to pick up our Residence Visas which we were notified have finally been approved. The new migration laws still leave a lot unknown but its a great first step.