So…yeah, not had the most uplifting few days! I’ve covered quite a lot of ground, and I’m really not doing the places justice by this, but nowhere has really inspired me much for some reason. Nice enough places and kind people, but I feel there’s something missing and I can’t put my finger on it!
Couple of timely quotes from my daily calendar:
Tues 27th: ‘The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes’ – Marcel Proust
Wed 28th: ‘Each moment is a place you’ve never been’ – Mark Strand
I was feeling tired when I got to Cuenca, but it’s a clean, open, pretty city, the most European-feeling place I’ve been in Ecuador. It has some attractive buildings.
Just round the corner from my hostel was this lovely little Colombian cafe, inexpensive and friendly with tasty food! They had a bell for you to ring as you went out the door if you liked the food and the service. I like that! I did an ‘Olly’ (B) a couple of times and had the merienda with extra maduros! Maduro is a kind of fried plantain/banana which is delicious, my favourite! And strangely, I still can’t get enough of the rice and beans.
After a day of resting after not feeling too well again, I then went, with Kristie from Melbourne, to Ingapirca, the largest Inca and Cañari ruins in Ecuador, uncovered only in the C20th. The Inca never conquered the Cañari – they just intermarried with them instead and both cultures existed together. The main structure is the temple of the sun, and rituals were held here at each solstice and equinox. People didn’t live here but in the surrounding villages.
From Cuenca, I took a 4-hour bus to the hot and sunshiny massive metropolis of Guayaquil with its bustling 3-level shopping-mall bus terminal which was surprisingly easy to navigate. Three hours later I was on the coast in cloudy Puerto López looking for a half-decent hostel amongst the littered dust-roads, with a nice French couple whom I’d met before in Latacunga/Quilotoa. All the hostels were outdated and below par to be honest, and the dorms were empty. Hm. I didn’t sleep well but had the promise of whale-watching to get me up in the morning.
However, this little boat delivered FIVE silent empty HOURS of sea and nothingness, punctuated by about 5 x 4 SECONDS of…whale-glimpsing. The first spot was on the other side of the boat and I was worried because everyone piled to that side against instructions! Still it was actually exciting and filled me with expectation…which soon faded!
Later I sat, alone, disappointed, on a dirty and littered beach and watched some sand crabs, and a boat launch. Time to move on then!