Well, we are taking a break in Cuenca.
We are not really city people and usually spend very little time in towns or other large metropolitan areas.
We love quiet spots in nature, fresh air, endless vistas and birds singing.
We like little villages and like to watch the people go about their daily lives, work in the fields or do their laundry on the banks of a river.
But there where some repairs that needed to be taken care of on the camper, so we decided to have it done here, before crossing into Peru.
The eight Araucarias were brought from Chile and planted by Luis Cordero at the turn of the century.
Cities like Cuenca have many stories to tell, there is a lot of history here and walking around for a day just isn’t enough.
Todos Santos bells.
In the old cathedral.
We found a little apartment on the top floor of an old colonial building owned by a dentist, his office is downstairs, he is 85 years old and still fits dentures for the indigenous. It came with a roof top terrace where we ate our breakfast or just went to read or watch the comings and goings down below. Outside the entry, on Plaza de San Francisco, is a daily market, the women in their beautiful outfits sell alpaca shawls and other nice and not so nice items. They are mostly from Otovalo, you can tell by their clothes.
First apartment, top floor of the dental office in Plaza San Francisco
In the museum we found a photograph of or “home”.
We are intrigued by the changing outfits as we move south, skirts, adornments and hats might look the same to us, but the native people here can tell by the clothing which village they are from. Just like we can back home in Austria. So to us, it is fascinating.
At night they store their wares in the building, so it was always interesting when we came home in the evening, we had to pass by their stored items – checking out the table cloths (loved them) and bags stored on the shelves.
Plaza “Pancho” 7 am.
We had to vacate the apartment after a week, Dano, the owner came through with another apartment, down by the river. We liked that one too.
The courtyard of apartment # 2
Apartment # 2 view!
There is always something going on in a City, cultural happenings, fiestas, street musicians. It took us days to visit the churches and museums on foot. Then we got our bicycles out and started to explore more, it has been fun. The two rivers make all the difference, they are mostly green belt with walking and bicycle trails. Thanks to a state of the art sewage treatment plant the rivers are clean and we saw fishermen fly fishing within city limits and catching nice sized trout.
A nice trout!
At the edge of town are some hot springs where we went to soak and do the steam/mud/shower/steam/soak/nap/tea routine, spent most of the day there and LOVED it.
Piedra de Agua
A steam box!
The daily market is huge, and we can find all the food you need just steps away from our little home away from our “home away from home” called camper.
Having an oven has been nice too, makes baking bread a lot easier than doing it with the Cobb grill. Apricots and blueberries are everywhere at the market right now so I made an apricot/blueberry cake today. A little taste from home, Ecuadorian food is not really what we are used to, but we try. Günter even ate a roasted “cuy” (Guinea Pig), I passed.
I am not going to write a Cuenca guide book, but will let the pictures speak for themselves.
We spent Dia de los Muertos and Independence day on November 3rd in Cuenca and enjoyed the festivities.
Popsicles, they were really good!
Guaguas and colada morada are only consumed on Dia de los Muertos.
Preparing the pig.
We are both hooked on hot quail eggs with cumin.
We would just follow the music and hang out!
The blacks from the Esmeraldas region are descendants of shipwrecked Africans destined to be sold as slaves.
Something always blooms in Cuenca!
Adios Cuenca, ist’s been good to get to know you!