February 28, 2009

I left Baños and headed towards Cuenca.

I really thought I had seen everything. Until this.

That poor little sheep was bleating it’s fool heart out.

Oofa.  More construction. (Note I am traveling right past all the stopped cars…MAN am I gonna have to change my habits when I return to the US!)

The rocks are meant to keep you off that portion of the pavement


(Reason # 892 why it is NOT a good idea to ride these roads in the dark.)

I finally get to Cuenca just as the sun was setting. I saw a couple of policemen and I pulled over to ask them for a hotel recommendation. What I got was a 30 minute conversation, and a personal police escort to the cheapest hotel they could think of with “safe” parking. Mr. Policeman even came inside the hotel, asked about prices, and came up to the room to preview it with me. Sometimes it’s a hoot being a girl traveling alone.


I arrived on a  Sunday night and I walked around a bit. I hoped to bump into Bruno and Nathalie from Valle de Corcora– he policemen said they had JUST come and asked about hotels 2 minutes before I got there (how many couples are traveling two up on a 250?) No luck.

The church was having a mass, so I did not take pictures. All the internet shops were closed. I could not find a place I liked that seemed like a good place to eat, so I skipped dinner.

I went back to the hotel to take a shower and to read. Grr. The hot water I was promised wasn’t hot and  am a princess. When I asked about it, the front desk man came up to my room, ran the water for 20 minutes, and processed to tell  me it was hot. It was not. He insisted. So did I. Unfortunately I do not know the Spanish word for “tepid”, which is what the water was. Grr.

Looking back, I believe this is where I started to lose my sense of humor. I mean, I was nice, but I told them they should not lie to their customers, that I never would have paid them $15 for one night if I had known there was no hot water. (All true.)


In the morning I noticed that my bike’s Barkbuster hand guard was all scratched. Grrr. I rode out in an unshowered huff and unfortunately forgot my polarfleece on the back of the chair. Grrr. It was the “perfect” layer… it fit under my riding suit, soft enough that I could sleep in it, and besides, it’s traveled around the world with me. GRRR!


Cuenca is a lovely city. I’d like to spend more time here (NOT in that hotel). But I am on a “Schedule”.

Here’s my mini your of Cuenca by day.

March 1, 2010

I’d read about the city’s famous “Flower Market” and made an effort t find it. Quite disappointing, actually.

Cuenca is hard to get into for some reason. I like that the Panamericana does not run through it like most other Cities, but it makes it hard to get into and out of downtown because of course the path is not marked.

My day got brighter when I asked a taxi driver for directions (often a general direction suffices). He insisted on taking me, and when I insisted I had no money to pay him, he insisted on taking me and wasn’t going to charge me anyway as he was going that direction.

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