When we finally arrived, 40 minutes late, my lovely sister was not at the terminal waiting patiently for me as planned. After a brief moment of panic I figured there must be another bus terminal, and started to make my way to it. This involved lots of stunted conversations with taxi drivers. Finally I find it, and sure enough, Angie was watching all the buses unload, wondering where the heck mine is. After I swatted her on the head we had a joyus reunion.
Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador, and much, much nicer than Quito. Quito is big and dirty, with the occassional nice building or park. Cuenca is all cute cobblestoney streets and pretty stone buildings. Here are some fun facts for you.
- Ecuador plumbing can´t handle toilet paper. And I mean, the entire countries plumbing. TP goes in the garbage can.
- Buses are about $1 an hour.
- Guys will come on the buses and try to sell you everything from candy nuts to icecream to cures for cancer.
- They have lots of fresh juice.
- Papaya juice is snotty and disguisting.
- If you get soup at lunch, it´ll probably have a random chicken appendage in it.
Our hostel is more of a pension. $6 per person. My room is right off of were the landlady sits around watching loud tv all day and night. It is big enough for a small bed, and has several posters of bikini models, and Ashton Kutcher on the walls. Just fyi - polyester bed sheets are not comfortable.
Yesterday we took a bus east to visit the supposed group of towns that had amazing Sunday markets. Our guide books boasted crafts and jewlery and animals and hats. We fould a small veggie market, a town square that had a few jewlery shops, and that was it. One of the markets did have several pigs being roasted whole. One woman was using a blow torch to cook hers. So that made the bus trip worth it for me.
Today we spent two hours on a bus to see the Ingapirca ruins. They are allegedly the most important ruins in Ecuador. They took about 10 minutes to walk through and looked like really shallow rock walls. I wasn´t impressed, and Angie and Nathan (who much enjoyed Machu Pichu) were less so. Again, my guide book failed me.
Back in Cuenca we stopped by the Museo de la Historia de la Medicina, an old creepy museum filled with old medical equipment from the late 1800´s and early 1900´s. Highlights included some very rusty gynological instruments, and a poster demonstrating how kidney stones were removed using a spiky grabbing tool inserted into a man´s penis.
We are moving on in the morning. So now I must try to pack everything back into my bag, which sort of exploded. Wish me luck!