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Out of the bubble......... One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.-- Henry Miller

A whole week in Cuenca! (arrived on the 4th - leaving on the 11th of June 2013)

ECUADOR | Tuesday, 11 June 2013 | Views [759]

Cathedral - you always know where you are.

Cathedral - you always know where you are.

Running around sick with a fever in Cuenca wasn't fun the first day, but I could tell already that this is my town!!!

Downtown with it's beautiful colonial buildings, cathedrals, churches broken up by little cafes, restaurants and little boutiques. A respectable town of about 500.000 people or maybe more. Of course a bit touristy but it doesn't take anything away from the organic feeling of this place. We settled in a little Austrian Cafe to gather ourselves and search the net for a reasonable place to stay. This place is full of "Germs" - my way of saying Germans (they are just everywhere..... and I don't mean it negative - just a fact!). So, next to me at a table a german friendly guy pointed out a downtown hostel with the best overnight price in town. Pearla Cuencana - $6 a person has been our home now for a week. After sweating for a day and a night with fever, stomach cramps and the "runs" I only recovered slowly and not fully. Fate had it that we connected with a friendly woman doctor who invited us for lunch on a sunny Saturday.
She suspected Parasites and I got the right meds to cure myself completely in a day or two. Power pills - horse pills or what ever you wanna call it. Works! (no antibiotics!) The Cuenca people cure themselves of parasites once a year - symptoms or not, I learned. Must be common here to pick up those little buggers...eeeek!
The time in town was otherwise well spend. We found some kick ass chocolate at the market which turned out to be not sweet at all - must have been  100% chocolate bean (we bought it from an indigenous woman in small clumps). I felt as disappointed as my four year old nephew years back when he tried something like it after I had warned him thoroughly........he cried bitterly tasting the bitter taste of the otherwise familiar looking bar of the dark brown substance. The hostel has a kitchen so we dumbed a liter of sweet oat milk and almost a full jar of honey in a pot, heated the whole thing up and melted the chocolate. When the concoction cooled down it tasted almost as good as nutella without the nutty taste. I really like the texture, the way it turned out to be. ......I am sure we can enhance any kind of boring tasting bread or cereal that way. Lucky us!
Besides that we had endless walks through town, eating ice cream and got to taste the baked goods which was sold in abundance on the side walk around the amazing cathedral in the middle of town. I have never ever- in my entire life- seen so much sweet goods piled up one after another in long rows up and down the streets.
 Where does it go at the end of the day?? The booths stayed open long into the night and the crowds pushed through the narrow aisles and it was the middle of the week. Impressive! I never got an answer where the stuff goes but lots of it wound up in James' and my stomach and maybe that is just the simple answer - there are lost of stomachs around here.!
Eating was our main activity in this town, but it is also as much a feast for the eye - almost around every corner there was a sight of a beautiful structure in form of a church or otherwise.....I could never get enough walking the same roads from our little Pearla Cuencana. Plenty of squares with benches and parks to wander and slurp the ice cream cone, watch kids chase each other and gaze into some silly dogs eyes.
Now we are getting ready to leave. Our way is taking us to Loja some 200km towards the border of Peru. There are a few high peaks to climb between here and there and I admit I am scared of the cold but excited for the next stretch of the Andeans and a new country I have never been or seen before. I love my life! 


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