23-Cuenca, Azuay


I had arrived with no reservation for hotel in Cuenca due to getting lost, just asked my GPS to guide me to the center. By now I can imagine how the center of the towns are layed out. The Spanish influence has brought the square grid system for the streets. Of course they had horses so the with of those streets are for just one car. Houses are lined up with beautiful balconies and in the center of town is most of the time a large open block with the Plaza and a church.That was my plan, stop my bike and find a place to stay overnight. I have come to realize to enjoy my trip fully, in small towns I find a cheap hotel for one night and it does not affect me the simplicity of it as long it is clean. In the larger cities like Cuenca 600.000 habitants if I find something inexpensive outside of town I do not se very much in walking distance. Therefore I spend little more for a medium hotel and then can walk and discover the city. Instead of $15 I spend around 30-40$. Still in the overall, there are more nights in small towns then big cities. While riding in those narrow streets, I saw a little hotel and more important, a place to park my bike. Asked if they had rooms and yes they had in my price range. So decided to stay and realized I was 2 blocks away from the center plaza. Perfect!

As a practical thing when staying more then one night in the same place I do my laundry. The air is dry in this area so even in one night all is dry. As for eating habits along my trip, the mid range hotels offer extensive breakfast, except the cheap ones for 15$. They offer fruit juice coffee toast or a croissant or similar and some fresh fruit. With that you have some good fuel for you ride in the morning. I like to be at my destination not later then 3PM so my lunch is quick something sort of snack along some of the towns from a local stand and when I arrive to my destination, after parking and getting my stuff to the room I walk out to se my surroundings and find a place for a hot meal. This has worked so far good for me. I can enjoy the remaining afternoon looking what the town has to offer.

I have been now on the road for a month now, and even if I like all kinds of food except spicy food ( which is not the norm here) I am careful with fresh vegetables. Most vegetables are just some slices of tomato a salad on the side of some rice and whatever kind of meet you want. It taste good but there is not much variety. Colombia had in addition beans next to the rice, here in Ecuador it is more french fries. As recommended I eat not the salad. I have slowly been eating the fresh fruit and juices and will eat now the tomatoes. I want my system to get used to the new different bacterias I am exposed to. So far so good. 

Had some minor discomfort the first few days in Colombia, even after watching what I was eating.  A few weeks your body will survive the lack of veggies, but on the long run it is not good, specially for and 'Old Weed’.  So, to prevent any weakness, I thought get some vitamin supplements at the pharmacy just temporary during my trip. I know it is not the same as fresh, but I need the energy to keep traveling and stay healthy. ( Just my perspective)

I took another bus tour here In Cuenca, to see the surroundings and here some pictures:


© Nina Boonacker 2012