Before to start, I would want to apologize with you guys due to get back to write again my blog after five… yes, 5 years, since I got my new job… an interesting one actually… but unfortunately, it kept me busy a long time… nevertheless, the good thing is that this role gave me the opportunity to travel to many places… local places, meet local and original people, and ride many experiences which I’m gonna share with you… right now!
Have you heard about Cuenca?… not the city in Spain… I’m talking about the colonial city in Ecuador, located in the south of this small country. La Atenas from Ecuador as the locals use to refer it, has among many things traditions, architecture, religion and gastronomy… this last one, one of my favorite kind of ways to know about a place and its people.
It was Tuesday at 21:30 and my flight arrived to Cuenca one hour after the official time (not a nice experience… but well.. we would talk about it next time)… as you can imagine as soon I got the hotel, leave my stuff… the first thing on my mind was to look for something to eat… but not in a fancy place (these places used not to be open at that time)… I was looking for a local place!.
I had heard about a place where you can eat a delicious empanada sharing with an amazing Morocho (local drink made it with corn, milk, cinnamon and other secret ingredients). The thing is that you can’t find it in google, trip advisor, the lonely planet book and neither the local tourism website… so you have to get those places with local people.
At 22:00, I was getting lost in the colonial city.. beautiful for its churches and streets that make you feel to be in the colonial epoque.
Coming back on my way … and after to search the place asking many people… the place was finally gotten… ehhhhh…. A small place very simple but cozy.. and with a long row!!… it was located in front of a famous site named as a “Puente Roto” (ref. Second picture)
Clues: The empanada is about 1.50 to 2.00 usd and the Morocho is 2.00 usd. (It’s crazy cheap and delicious)
Next day, early in the morning after the breakfast, my first stop was The Cajas National Park (Ramsar site, Biosphere Reserve and one of the most important protected areas in Ecuador), the temperature was around 5 – 9 C degrees.. so I had to fit appropriate clothes.. I didn’t want to become an ice cream..lol… this natural place have more than 50 lagoons inside and it is the principal resource of water to the main city. Also its landscape is part of the most beautiful places to take pictures, hiking, birdwatching, camping, to fish and others.
Check it out…
One day is nothing to enjoy the routes and be satisfied for the visit in this amazing protected area. That’s why you always come back.
Tips: the entrance fee to protected areas in Ecuador mainland is free… yes, freee!!!
Back to the hotel in the afternoon, I had to search other local food and very famous for the cuencanos (people who live in Cuenca), “the cascaritas” is pork meat and actually is the skin of the pork burned … (sounds weird but is not)..so my next stop was Don Bosco´s neighborhood, a traditional street where you can enjoy the cascaritas.
Tips: the price is between 2.50 to 5.00 usd. The price includes cascaritas, mote (white corn), smashed potatoes, salad and juice of the day (that means whatever the owner has decided to mix that day… lol…it´s delicious, so don’t be afraid).
As you saw guys the food was pretty heavy for the night, an it was the perfect moment to apply my Hotel management abilities… “let’s go for a drink” 😅. (actually, is very known that a drink after a heavy meal, makes your stomach feel better)
To close the night I went to one of the bars located in the downtown and the beverage selected to “cheer” was not a whisky, wine, neither cocktail… it was a shot of a local and strong liquor, it calls “Zhumir” very local, nevertheless is so famous that you can find it now even in NY.. lol.
So, with friends in the perfect place.. we celebrated our stay in Cuenca with a shoooot… and at the same time we say Good Bye Cuenca… we will come back!…
Ps. This is the pic before the drink… the after one is not allowed in this post…”yet”…lol..