Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cuenca, Ecuador ...

I have been sitting here in our new apartment, here in Cuenca, Ecuador, 
our new home for the next couple of months: 

Our arrival to Ecuador found us first in Quito. What a lovely old heritage city, with many wonderful sites and colors. 
  "I am part of Quito, take my photo!" says the fella who came up to us and spoke English.

From Quito we traveled to Manta, on the coast 
where we bought some Panama Hats in Montichristi: 
  No they are not made in Panama!
and visited with friends from Colombia,  
 Frank, from Colombia, our guia for the day
the fish market.  from the boat to the middleman, who sells the whole fish ... 
to the vendor who sells it by the pound ...

 Albacore tuna 

and yes, that is $3.50/lb, freshly caught ... 
Manta is where the canned tuna comes from, we even saw a Sunkist truck. There is also an active, flourishing boat building economy that accompanies the fishing industry.

the tools were the same as some of the very old ones, not electric by any means, but rather the ones that were manhandled and swung by the best.

Then on to Cuenca: From 9000+ft to sea level to 8000+ ft, man my head doesn't know which way to turn. Still suffering from mild headaches and sore legs. 
Cuenca is an UNESCO heritage city and has a wonderful old town as well as a new one. 
The "new" cathedral in which you can certainly see the Spanish/Moorish influence. The inside is phenominal.
 and yes, the yellow is all gold leaf
 notice how high the ceiling is as compared to the tourists on the floor. 
 the front arches, there are 3 of them, are made of marble in varying shades. Most importantly, I promise, no more churches.

Cuenc sits in a valley with mountains surrounding it. Although we are now in the "dry" season, we still get rain as can be seen in the photo's background. 

 The temperatures are wonderful - love them: 50's at night and 70's during the day. Even at that, the sun's rays are very strong and I have to be very careful.
Everywhere one turns there is colour and inspiration. The children are adorable and the people very friendly, especially if you buy something. :)

  Love the sound of the music from this native flute, even if they are playing modern songs. Of course we had to buy a CD.
 I wish I could sit like a bump on a log and get photos of the many faces that are under the hats. They are priceless and I didn't bring my big camera!

The inspiration abounds at every turn. Wouldn't these make fabulous quilts? And some of the photos would translate into them as well. 
Now here is an unique idea: take an old tablecloth and sew cut-out pieces of metal to make a wall hanging. Somebody has a vivid imagination. 

And so we head out ... tomorrow Danny heads to the University de Cuenca for a teaching gig and I await a call from a midwife ... the weekend we will head out to surrounding towns to visit and get more inspiration.