Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Fine Ending in Cuenca, Ecuador...

Thursday in Cuenca dawned sunny and bright for the very first time during our visit. I was ecstatic!! Slept in a bit, had a great cup of coffee, caught up on all the world in Facebook and the world, and, did a bit of sun bathing in the courtyard. Then, worked on the blog and got it posted. Tough day already!!

As it was already after 2pm when we left the Hostal, we headed back to Parque Calderon for lunch. We ended up back at Raymipamba and had a scrumptious lunch that we shared.

A few more pictures Mike took while walking around in the beautiful sunlight!


Immaculate Conception Cathedral

 
From there the mission was to walk over to the Indigenous market so I could buy an Alpaca sweater. Yup, you guessed it, I found just what I was looking for!  But first, the young lady kept trying to sell me an adult size. But I was ready to walk away since the sleeves were way too long. Then I do believe the young lady "got it". I needed a "joven" (young) size. Her English was quite good, which I'm always impressed with. And, it makes me feel very inadequate!  Anyway, the pattern was great, the weight was great, so I bought it. Mike did well on a bit of negotiating. 

Our plan was to go out to the Jazz Cafe for dinner and a night of live music, so we walked until we found its location for future reference. Yup!  That we did!  And, I must say that our evening at the Jazz Cafe was phenomenal !!  

Mike and I have been starved for live music since Costa Rica. Well, we found it at the Jazz Cafe! How fabulous for Cuenca to have such a great venue!! James Gale and his wife, Debby, do a terrific job at presenting good quality jazz and a great menu of food!  

The evening we were there, Luis Ullauri played his guitar and sang Cuban love songs and Ecuadorian ballads. Do I need to say how much I'm in love?  Mike knows this is my weakness. Guitar and beautiful singing.  I was brought to tears with his beautiful voice and emotions!  Needless to say, I was in heaven!!!


 

And, then came James and his jazz students playing some incredible soulful music! Wow! Thank you James and your students! Absolutely divine!  A fantastic evening!


 
How could it really be??  A second day dawning sunny and bright on friday! But there it was again! The expats were even wondering if the record books were going to be rewritten!  LOL We took our time getting ourselves together because we were enjoying the sun so much!  

We headed out to find Mike a new baseball hat because he had left his Costa Rican hat at the Brewery when we had changed seats. We didn't have to go far. There are shops everywhere in Old Town with tons of choices for everything. 

One of the things we enjoy very much is walking different streets each time so that we truly discover our location. In this city, every turn we took, we found another church and square. The beauty!  so this time was no different and right across from the new square, we found a terrific little Mexican restaurant, Azteca. Delicious!! A perfect meal for $3.75 - a burrito, salad, and a drink. 

The afternoon was wiled away by walking up and down more streets and finally making our way back to the catacombs in the Immaculate Conception cathedral. Interesting but wouldn't go out of our way again to do it. Certainly wasn't a highlight.





 
From there we walked over to an area called San Sebastion where the museum of modern art is located as well as the San Sebas Cafe is. We spent an hour wandering the old historic structure and enjoying the beautiful art. Enjoy!













 

We had made arrangements to meet back up with Sheila and some of her close friends at San Sebas Cafe for drinks and to hear Brian Geary play. As we had time to kill, we walked more streets and actually ran into Sheila who came early too. But, since we found out the cafe didn't open until 5:30, Mike wanted to find a place to quench his thirst. Along the way, we lost Sheila to some new expats in town, so Mike and I continued on our quest. 

Block after block and there was not a bar/restaurant anywhere!  And, this city is filled with them. It we sure couldn't find one close to San Sebas. So we ended up all the way back over at the river at the Inca Lounge. Mike had a wonderful huge dark stout and I had my signature glass of wine. Instead of dinner, we ordered cheese nachos and pigged out!

A cab ride back to San Sebas and we were there just as the music started. We knew it was "singles" night. It we knew other couples that were going and it was the only chance we would have. However, other than a chance to finally meet some other Facebook friends and to say goodbye to Sheila, I certainly wouldn't go on singles night again!  I'll just leave it at that. :)



 

Sheila, Craig, Tammy & Jimmy McDowall, and My Beloved, Mike!!
 
Our time in Cuenca came to an end with a Saturday morning departure, which is a whole other story for the next post. The journey certainly continues....
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