It’s Carneval time in Cuenca. Last night’s fireworks show kicked off the peak days of the Carneval season, which ends on Fat Tuesday. While the word Carneval conjures up images of bikini sambas in Rio de Janeiro or costumed parades through New Orleans, Cuenca celebrates Carneval in its own special way. Here are three quick tips for getting into the spirit of things and enjoying the Carneval season:
1. Bring a Baggie. Baggies serve two purposes during Cuenca’s Carneval. They’re a very useful place to store your cell phone and camera while you’re out and about in Cuenca running your errands or seeing the sights. They’re also a very useful place to store your own ammunition if you’re embracing the local tradition of throwing water balloons.
In New Orleans, they throw beads. In Rio, they throw confetti. In Cuenca, they throw water balloons. Cars of teenagers will gleefully launch water balloons at you as they drive by, and innocent little children turn into precision bombers dropping plump globes of cold water down on your head. With your cell phone and other valuables in a Baggie you can laugh it off … or select your own balloon from your Baggie to fight back.
2. Hit the Supermaxi. During Carneval, most local businesses close up. It’s a family time and a vacation time for Cuencanos. With schools closed and no work obligations for the parents, many people head to the coast or to see country relatives. As a result, expats get stuck wandering the streets with no open restaurants or tiendas to sustain them.
There is hope in the Supermaxi. From experience, we’ve learned that while they operate on reduced hours, they do stay open for holidays. If you need dinner supplies or just want a snack, the three Supermaxi locations are your reliable source for provisions during the Carneval season.
3. Prepare to Unwind. With shops closed and many Cuencanos out of town, it’s time for those still in Cuenca to prepare to unwind. There’s little to do but take long walks (dodging balloon throwers), spend time chatting with friends, or kick back with a good book or movie.
Barbeques are a popular way to pass the time, and mini fiestas spring up as the sun sets. With music in the air, sunny weather, and good company, Carneval can serve as a much-needed break for most local residents.
Admittedly, here at Cuenca Condos we are planning to spend the time off catching up on administrative tasks. With owners out of town our ability to show you properties is limited, but watch the website for updates or drop us a line with your questions about finding your perfect rental before you arrive. We’ll be back in full operation on Wednesday, refreshed from the Carneval break and ready to help you find your new home in Cuenca.Share on Facebook