Published: October 30th 2012October 30th 2012
Another early start today to drive from Chugchilan to Cuenca, with Cuenca sitting at 2500m above sea level, it meant a long drive down through the clouds to reach it our destination.
Whilst the valley roads look amazing covered in clouds when viewed from above, it’s pretty scary actually driving through them. The local trucks and cars scream along the mountain passes, foot hard on the accelerator even when the visibility is zero, over taking on blind corners when they can’t see the front of their car let alone the oncoming vehicles seems the norm, thankfully we travelled at a more sedate rate and made it to Cuenca in one piece.
Cuenca is home to the Panama hat so first call this morning was the hat factory to have a look around, after trying on loads of different hats and realising that just because I’m away from home hats don’t suddenly start to suit me i leave empty handed. Cuenca is a really lovely city, very comfortable to walk around, and if I ever get the chance to come back to Ecuador to study Spanish it would be here that I’d choose.
the main square we came across a protest march – they were requesting more funding for their organisation which works with the poorer communities in Ecuador – it was a peaceful march, some slogan chanting but mainly just handing out leaflets to the gathered crowd, yet there was a heavy police presence and helicopters overhead. All the while local school kids were handing out homemade lollypop stick flags, an interesting experience to witness and all ended without trouble.
A mix up with our booking meant that we’ve been transferred to a different – more upmarket – hotel to the one planned, it’s a lot more luxurious than anything I’ve experienced so far and after all the travelling around of the last few weeks its lovely to chill for a bit. The rain descended this afternoon which cut the sightseeing short, but hanging out in my suite, listening to music and swapping stories has been a pretty good way to spend my last day in Ecuador.
Off to Peru tomorrow and my first land border crossing of the trip, it’s been a long time since I’ve entered a country in any way but by air,
wonder how it’ll go? I’ll let you know!
There are more photos below