Published: June 27th 2009June 27th 2009
Arrived today in Cuenca and was instantly grateful for the slightly lower altitude than Quito that at least meant I could walk ten metres without wheezing like an asthmatic ant. Walked my feet to death as usual - despite looking so small there is a deceptive amount of walking involved getting around Cuenca. At least the ridiculously organized block system means it´s next to impossible to get lost (I still managed it but that´s neither here nor there.) Despite wandering around for ages I still didn´t manage to find the shop I bought all my traditional Cuencan pottery from - I honestly think it vanished into thin air. Pity, I would have a liked a complete set of crockery.
Nothing much has changed in a year (except the prices in Cafecito!), Cuenca is still as beautiful as ever. Went on a walking tour of Cuenca taking a ridiculous amount of photos. Started to feel rather silly as, for the first time ever in South America, I seem to be the only tourist lugging a camara around (that I could see anyway.)
Visited the Museo de Arte Moderno which had the usual infantile splodges masquerading as art as well as
the slightly more unusual jars of dirty water and lumpy bits with the rather pretentious claim of being ´Crushed hopes and dreams´.
I honestly think I will never understand modern art but as I spent the majority of the time in the gardens chasing hummingbirds it doesn´t really matter. The hummingbirds were not feeling photogenic and refused to sit still for the three seconds it takes to whip up your camara so my attempts came out as nothing more impressive than emerald blurs. I think I´ll have to find a colibri sanctuary (if such a thing exists) to get anywhere near a decent photo of the annoying little things.
The weather didn´t seem to want to cheer me up either as it remained rather overcast the whole weekend (thus ruining my photos) but at least I wasn´t treated to any of the torrential downpours that marred the majority of my last visit.
The next day saw me (after loading up on giant fruit salad for breakfast) navigating my way through the building works that seem to have been going on since last year all along the river to get to CIDAP - a museum of indigeous art,
artefacts and traditions. Really love that the majority of museums here are free - makes culture so much more palatable!
My main reason for visiting Cuenca however was to visit the orphanage where I had spent my gap year two years previously. The kids were still as gorgeous and ever (if a little snotty nosed and violent - I got hit three times in the one afternoon.) Only four of the fourteen I originally worked with were still there. I know it´s good that they´ve been adopted but I still miss my babies.
I spent the day changing nappies and persuading the kids that it´s a better idea to put food in their mouths than on the floor/ in their ears/ in my hand when they don´t want to eat it or each others noses (not the pleasantest sight in the world) but amazingly still loved it.
There are more photos below