Chorpus Christi and Guinea Pig

Cuenca Travel Blog

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Hello all,

I have been in Cuenca since Sunday and I love it. The city is home to about half a million people, but you would never know it. Cuenca is by far the cleanest city in this country, much thanks to the people sweeping up people´s litter constantly. It is a very historic town with cobblestone sterets and many original buildings from long ago. A river runs though it also. It is very safe at night and has many stores (our hotel is in the shoe store neighborhood, and I just helped myself to a new pair of lowtop red Converse) and plenty to do. Right now the celebration of Corpus Christi is going on, which means tens of bakery booths, fireworks, street food (yum), crowds of people, music, etc. It is quite a scene.
The first two days I pretty much just walked around a lot. Claudia met me on Monday from Guayquil. We just wandered mostly for the first day she was here.
Yesterday we took a 3 hour bus ride to Ingapirca (Incan Walls) which was amazing. 500 year old Incan ruins on the road connecting Cuzco to Quito. We had a guided tour which was cool, because we got to learn about the history and the culture of the Incans. There is a massive sun dial in the center that is still in tip top shape. Also, after a short walk you can find the face of a man carved into a giant rock. After that we had a few hours to kill before our bus came to pick us up back to Cuenca. So we wandered in the nearby village then returned to the ruins to get food (it is kind of touristed out). After we returned to Cuenca we decided to go to dinner. Cuy, or roasted guinea pig. I can´t say that I enjoyed it as much as I wished. I didn´t mind the idea of eating it, it just tasted kind of hammy, which I dislike greatly. The skin was good and crunchy though. We were exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel around 10 and we still had to pack to get ready for the next day.
Today we wanted to go to Cajas National Park so we got on the bus at 7 and it dropped us off at around 8. It was freeeeeezing cold out. We came completely unprepared. Also, the people running the park were not even there to charge us or let us in so we hung out in the little traffic station with a very nice police officer for a while, got coffee, then decided to leave. We got back to the bus terminal and ate at a fast food chicken restaraunt then got on the bus to Chordeleg to go look at their stores, they have a lot of gold and silver stuff. We didn´t find too much so we went 5km north to Gualaceo for shoes (this is where all the reject shoes from the big cities go for cheaper) and didn´t find too much. We headed back and here we are. I bought some shoes.
Now we are killing time until 10pm when we leave for Loja, a 5 hour trip by bus. We wait at the terminal until 7am and bus 8 hours to a border town between Ecuador and Peru. Then a grueling long ride to Lima. I only plan on staying a few days. Claudia´s future brother in law said that I could stay with her and his family while I am there, which will be a nice way to see the city.
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photo by: Ils1976