April 2, 2007

For some reason, I couldn’t get out of Guayaquil fast enough. Maybe this is in part because I know I have to go back there for my
flight to the Galapagos? Or maybe it is because I just knew there was something better waiting around the corner?

And that ‘something’ would be Cuenca…

I got into this city at night but I could see enough. I instantly liked it (truth be told, I also just like saying the word ‘Cuenca’ –
sounds like ‘Quen-kah’).

Wouldn’t it be like me to stop at a bakery (or ‘pasteleria’) on my way to heading out to dinner? And of course I couldn’t
save the
goodies – I ate them en route to finding a restaurant to eat at. Holy schmoly, one of the cookies was
soooo good! It tasted just like
Christmas in that wonderful buttery way. What a great appetizer…

And then wouldn’t it be my luck to randomly stumble upon a great restaurant that even served
sushi!?!? It is funny because I
maybe should have been a bit concerned considering I am inland right now. But I was just so excited to be within meters of actual
sushi that I didn’t even care. Throwing caution to the wind is the name of my game – and it hasn’t come to bite me in the you-know-
what for the past year. So what the hell? Sushi it was going to be…

One moment to pause for something a bit disturbing. I went to use the internet. The old guy there was flirting with me in Español. I
was a little creeped out since I was the only person there at the time. He was asking me
not if I had a boyfriend…not if I had a
husband…but if I had a
lover. Ewwww…. I know it’s different in this continent. I know the term ‘lover’ is used much more freely.
But still. Ewwww…. (And for the record, I told him ‘my lover’ was in Quito right now and I was meeting him there in a few days.)

April 3, 2007

Cuenca in the daylight…not too shabby. Not too shabby at all…

My exploration started early. After all, there
are many streets around here to explore. I know I have said this before but I am just
a sucker for colonial architecture.

Cuenca isn’t filled with loads of ‘must sees’…just lots of nice squares and beautiful churches. I kind of like it this way so that I don’t
feel like there is a list of things that I ‘have’ to do. So I roamed. I ate. I roamed some more. I took a siesta (the timing was perfectly
in line with the thunder, lightning and downpour that was coming over Cuenca). I went and bought a bus ticket. I bought some fruit
and water for my bus ride. As you can see, my day was filled with big things, huh? All I can say is that this town was a great place to
do as much as you want or as little as you want. I really enjoyed it. But due to my limited time in Ecuador (since I am using over
half of it for the Galapagos), I am heading out early in the morning. Not in the mood to do an overnight bus ride. Instead I am
leaving at a sickly hour – 5:30am – en route to Baños. I made this decision so that I a) don’t waste an entire day on a bus, and b)
can get some sleep on the bus with hopes that it makes the journey go by faster. I guess the good news is that the latter half is
supposed to be quite a treat. I guess I will just have to see about that…

Sidenote: Here are a few interesting things that came out of my time in Cuenca…

I found out that Beyonce has recorded ‘Irreplaceable’ in Spanish.

I found out there is a station called the ‘American Network’. On it, you can watch Oprah, Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray, and Dave
Letterman. You can
also start your morning with CBS’ ‘The Early Show’. On this note, am I the only person that doesn’t give a rat’s
you-know-what who the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby is (as this was the breaking news this morning)???
Back to Ecuador.
Street signs with character.
Top of a beautiful cathedral.
A man working with panama hats.