An Ausse WWOOFer that we had breifly met in Vilcabamba, Beq is doing an around the world trip that makes me just a little jellous, while at the same time thankful that I get to go home in two weeks. While in Cuenca Jon and I had hailed a cab in front of a cafÃ© window she was sitting at. What dumb luck. Since then weÂ´ve been traveling together. ItÂ´s nice to have change I suppose… it makes playing guessing games, like Â´Â´infinite questions,Â´Â´ more fun.
Cuenca to Chordeleg hoping to find a guitar to buy. Walked the block, Went to an artisans shop, Was tempted to buy a Wooden chest then a leather bag, We bought finger puppets instead. Bus rides held the most entertainment for the day….
Cuenca to San Bartolome hoping to find a guitar to buy. Off the bus. Asked where to go. Back on the bus. Dropped off at a genuine guitar shop. Wood chips on the ground. Jon discusses custom jobs. We walk to the next shop. Just down the road – half an hour. Second shop has little more to offer than two guitars and a trail back to the road via their corn field. Guitar shop next to the bus Â´stopÂ´ … I like the way they plastered their adobe and fashioned thier door jam, guitar was not worth the time. The bus took us back to Cuenca in time to eat pizza and drink wine with Beq. It was our third night eating Oreos and bagged milk before bed. This time we enjoyed dessert and in the park – Beq accepted our invitation.
From Cuenca up to Ambato. In Ambato we ducked into an Ecuadorian Casino to do some light research and found A) Slot machine use doesnÂ´t entitle you to free drinks, B) small spenders donÂ´t get Johnny Walker for free, C) itÂ´s possible to both win and loose in Ecuador just like in Vegas. After we had done a sufficient amount of research and the casino refused to serve any more drinks we headed back to the hostel for the night, woke up in the morning and caught the bus to BaÃ±os.
In BaÃ±os at the foot of the Volcano Tunguara. ItÂ´s raining. The first day was beautiful with the valley clear and the clouds hovering at the tops of the mountains about us. Waterfalls cascaded down shear cliffs and green gripped at the slopes. You could feel the ambient hope of every plant that their particular slope wouldnÂ´t fail this day. I was able to hike up the hill in an attempt to get a glimpse of the great Vulcan across the valley. I found a nice little structure on the side of the hill with a bench and a beautiful view of the city of BaÃ±os. The clouds still hung about the tops of the mountain across the way. I sat and read in hope that the clouds with wisp away with the afternoon. And they did. The clouds, as if distracted by a more tempting mountain top, snaked up and out of the valley, revealing one low hilltop. I paused from my reading, eager to see the spouting lava mouth. To my dismay the clouds, uneasy with their absence, quickly spilled back into the valley making an evening view improbable. So I finished up my book and walked back down the hill to the hostel. In passing a map of the area on my way up to the room I discovered that a little research would have saved myself some disappointment. The volcano was above me, not across, I was on the North slope of Vulcan Tunguara. Alas, it was dark then and the next day the clouds came in and the rain came down. The only volcano view was looking over our shoulder as the bus rolled back to Ambato on itÂ´s way to Quito.
… Arrived in Quito, dropped our gear, and found an Internet cafÃ©.
– Home in two weeks.