Onto my final destination in Ecuador, the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca. I arrived very bright and early on Friday following an overnight bus journey from Quito. The city is quite compact so it is a very easy place for a walking tour and you can’t help but notice there is a church on every corner, clearly Cuenca is a very religious place!
I had a lovely morning exploring the city and was quite surprised by the sunshine as I had been warned about quite how cold Cuenca was. Back in the hostel I met a french girl called Rachel, we decided to visit a Panama hat museum which obviously resulted in hats being bought. Rachel had got to know a couple of ecuadorian guys who we met up with. They insisted that there was a very important football match on, between Cuenca and Quito which we had to go to. So that is what we did. This actually turned out to be a lot of fun!
After the match we headed out for dinner and a few beers. It is probably worth noting that neither of the ecuadorian guys, Alex and Mauricio, spoke any English ( or if they did they weren’t prepared to speak it), so this ended up being a Spanish speaking evening. Whilst my Spanish really has improved immeasurably keeping up with conversation was tough. However, I’m not one to allow a language barrier to stop me putting my opinion across so I used a great combination of Spanish, made up words and gesturing emphatically. This actually worked surprisingly well.
on Saturday Rachel and I went to 3 local villages where we visited women weaving Panama hats, artisan silver and goldsmiths and locally produced ceramics. It was great to see the surrounding area to Cuenca which is this beautiful mountainous region with the odd house and village perched on the mountain side.
Saturday night was more Spanish conversation practice, however this was made significantly easier by the addition of 3 English speakers to our little group. More salsa dancing and general fun, which was followed by a day of less fun on Sunday!
We had a fairly slow start on Sunday but eventually made it to some thermal spas nearby which did wonders for the hangover! Then it was time to say goodbye to cuenca and to Ecuador as I took a night bus into Peru.