I was born in a city of rivers—three of them, to be exact. And now, half a century later, I’ve moved to another—this time a town that has four flowing through it.
Admittedly, Pittsburgh’s rivers have little in common with those here in Cuenca. These aren’t nearly as deep or wide, as the Ohio, for example. These rivers are rockier. Water flows more swiftly.
However, the river closest to our home and the park that parallels it have proven perfect places to walk the dogs—to appreciate the sound of water rushing over rocks—reminders of the hard places and our ability to move above or around them.
Sometimes we feel like this:
When the reality is more like this:
Certainly, Ecuador has rivers far grander than those in my mountain town. The Amazon has its origin in Ecuador. A body of water more icon than regular river, it conjures images of dark dreams and alien ambition—a river whose force impacts the collective imagination of an entire planet.
Still, today, we’d like you to join our walk along the humble but beautiful Tomebamba (which, ultimately, flows into the Amazon). See what we see, hear what we hear, even meet the horse and chickens we encounter along the way.
Perhaps, the river will renew you, as it does us—as it does our dogs, as well.
Below we gather at our gate—about to em-bark. And believe me, the dogs DO have plenty to say about it.
It quickly, as within 3 or 4 blocks, turns into a DOG and PONY show.
Still, Lucy and Ralph are the ones chomping at the bit—”Let’s get this show on the road!”
And even in our neighborhood of Totoracocha, where the horse also lives, street art marks this as an urban area, as well.
The river itself is, also, lovely.
Sometimes Sara and I photograph one another taking photos more than we photograph the river itself.
And, of course, the dogs enjoy the walk, as well. Ralph even takes a dip.
Interestingly, many of the dogs we meet along the way, look a lot like Ralph and even a bit like Lucy.
But the plants growing along the river also capture our imagination. Are we barking up the wrong tree?
This is Cuenca’s “dry season,” so the river is low—the water flowing a bit more slowly—but quickly enough.
It’s time to head home, but it’s still hard to leave these towering trees behind.
The path home takes us past even more graffiti.
And just past the street art, we encounter more farm animals. This time it’s chickens and roosters and their babies, as well.
Once we’re home again, the dogs collapse in complete exhaustion—snoring away the rest of the day.
(Yes, the photo above is an old one. Some of you have seen it before, but you get the point. Right?)
Thanks for coming along. We hope you enjoyed Cuenca’s unique mix of urban and rural—and all in our small neighborhood.
Is there a river in your town? Where do you walk your dogs? Do you have farm animals living in your neighborhood?