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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Puff Puff - Our little Red Dragon

Dear Family and Friends,

You may remember, awhile back I posted on the blog that we had bought a car. We bought the car (a SsangYong) in early March. It takes awhile for money to get transferred from the U.S. to Ecuador and for checks to clear the local bank.

The day before we left to return to the U.S. Chuck got a call from the dealership saying that their bank had cleared our check and that we could pick up the car. Chuck asked them to hold the car until our return. So for a couple of weeks, the dealership had our money and our car.

We returned to Cuenca last Thursday and Chuck called the salesman on Friday. Chuck decided to have an add on installed so the salesman told him he could pick up the car on Saturday at noon.

Chuck took the city bus over on Saturday and drove the car home.

Yesterday, we took it for it's first ride. Chuck wanted to drive up into the Andes (Caja mountains) to test the car's performance on the steep mountain climbs.

Before we left, I suggested that we should name our car. We thought and thought. Finally Chuck said that Ssangyong is Korean for twin dragons. He thought "Puff" might be a good name. We all agreed but decided since we were talking about twin dragons we should go with "Puff-Puff."

The trip went great....the road was great and not crowded and Puff-Puff performed great. The mountain highway was a cinch for her.

Since we were in the car and not in a bus or other public transportation, we were able to stop and explore and take some pictures.

Here is Chuck with Puff-Puff.

Here is Matt by a mountain river.

The scenery was great. I would just say when and Chuck would slow down so I could take pictures.

We drove all the way up to the top of the mountains. There is a place at the top called "Three Crosses."

Here is Chuck and Matt getting out of the car and Puff-Puff's rear end.

Here is Matt and Chuck posing behind the three crosses.

Here is a couple who were sitting across the road waiting for the bus. They watched us park the car and watched our every movement until we left. I am sure we were entertainment for them because we could hardly breath up there....14,000 ft. Slow walking.

On the way home, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant that specializes in mountain trout. I had never been to this restaurant before because it is away off the road. It would easily be possible to get there from Cuenca by taxi, but it would be very difficult to get there on the bus.

Matt took this picture of Chuck and I outside the restaurant.

And he took another one of "mama" fixing to dig into her fried trout.

Although we will not be using Puff-Puff for transportation inside the city of Cuenca. She will make it easier for us to visit surrounding areas, explore the rest of Ecuador and even explore the rest of South America.

We are happy with her, she proved herself to be a fine little red dragon.

Nancy (and Chuck and Matt)


  1. Ahh...I love that name "Puff-Puff (how appropriate!). May she bring you many safe journeys in and around Ecuador! Congratulations!!

  2. Congratulations on the new arrival, and such an approriate name for her. Do you mind if I ask how much she cost ? Sounds like they have a dealership there in Cuenca, so service and parts should be easy enough, what kind of gas mielage are you expecting ?
    I am preparing to move to Cuenca and trying to get ideas for when I get there. I have not been without a car since I was 15, and even if, like you, I only use it for road trips and not errors around the city, I think it would make me feel better to just know I have the option. Great pictures that you posted as well. Do you know what type of trout they have in the Rivers there ?
    Thanks for the great post.

  3. Puff-Puff has a diesel engine and with diesel selling in Ecuador at $1.03 per gallon, we are not concerned. Regarding the price of Puff-Puff, well all I will say is that she was more expensive than we would expect to pay in the states.

    There is no haggling here with the car salesman. The prices are set and if you want the car, you pay the price.

    Regarding the trout, I don't know what kind it is. I just know that it is inexpensive and I like it.

  4. How Cute, I think she is perfect for you future travels! And thank you for being our mule! We are looking forward to your arrival with Matt in Richland!


Comments are welcome.