Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 54/55 - Loja - Cuenca/Cuenca

Day 52 - Loja - Cuenca

Distance travelled (by bike): 7315

Driving from Loja through the mountains on route 35 was stunning and worth taking time to ride, luckily toady it didn't rain, though it was bitterly cold. Unlike all the counties in South America so far Equador seems to actually have some road signs. This helped hugely as the GPS is still dead. 
After loads of twists and turns i arrived at Cuenca, about 30 minutes before the heavens opened and remained so for the rest of the day, serious rain. Grabbing a bit to eat i met an american who was a political fund raiser, he had decided to take 6 months off and travel, though so far he'd only travelled from Quito to Cuenca.

driving above the clouds 

looking down one of the valleys

Day 53 - Cuenca

Casual day in Cuenca. Cuenca is the third largest city in Equador, and since 1999 the city centre has been designated UNESCO world heritage site. Beautiful laid back city with huge amounts of colonial character. The city centre is made up of small cobbled streets and dominated by two cathedral, the old and new. The new Cathederal was constructed in 1880so all the 10,000 inhabitants of Cuenca's could fit at once. The city also has a Panama hat museum, there are a huge amount of hat makers in the city, over 70% of the hats they make get exported (most to Panama). I was very tempted to buy one, then reality hit me and i realised i had no way to carry it!

bike parked in the central courtyard of hostel

some of the 1000's of hats for sale at the museum 

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