From Baños to Loja
Trip Start May 17, 2009
19Trip End Jun 16, 2009
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Along the way, we were floored by the stunning mountain vistas we were able to see out the window. I should note that once again, the ¨highway¨we were traveling on was a 1.5 lane wide, half paved-half unpaved path along thousand foot cliffs high up in the Andes
Finally at about 5pm, we reached Cuenca, a charming little colonial city founded in 1577 by the invading Spanish conquistadores. The entire town is linked by cobbled streets and one-way avenidas. The buildings are mostly white-washed stucco with orange clay-tiled roofs. Other than a few museums which we didn´t have time to see, the city´s main attraction is its collection of picturesque churches and plazas. We had a suprisingly tasty dinner in Cuenca´s version of a fastfood restaurant. I had spit-roasted chicken and Taylor tried ¨Churrasco¨. As a dish, the manner in which churrasco is served varies between something that resembles a steak sandwhich usually accompanied by papas to a full-sized dinner. Taylor received the dinner version, consisting of a pile of rice, french fries, and steamed vegetables, topped with two fried eggs and the thin steak, smothered in a red sauce with onions and peppers.
After a failed attempt to find a sports bar to watch game one of the Easter Conference finals, we turned in early to do some research about routes into Peru
We rose early again today, not by choice this time. The building next to the Hostel was residential and apparently, in Ecuador, even apartment tenants are permitted to raise livestock- including ROOSTERS! Sure enough, at 4am, we started hearing the glorious morning wake-up calls of my previous night´s dinner´s relatives... Talk about Karma.
We had a breakfast of freshly baked delicacies from a local bakery and searched for a bank and casa de cambio to get Soles for Peru. Found the bank, got cash. Found the currency converter, did not get Soles due to a recent surge in tourists changing money for Peru there. We went to the bus terminal and hopped on a bus to Loja, our next city.
We now find ourselves in Loja. Not much to this southern city, except a few pretty parks. We are basically overnighting here and leaving at 6am to head to Màcara first where well will be escorted across the border into Peru, then on to Piura a few hours past the border. Talk to you next from Peru!