I met a lovely couple in a bar/restaurant that was recommended on good ol’ Trip Advisor called Don Colon Restaurant. They had been sitting next to me before I left for a walk and then it poured down so I returned around 20mins later just soaking wet. So then we decided that we were “rained in” and enjoyed mucho vasos de vino tinto, solo tres. I’m in love with Cuenca. It’s beautiful. It’s safe. It’s friendly. It’s helping my Spanish hugely. There are a lot of American’s here which makes me feel at home. There’s been a lot of rain today which makes me feel at home. I’m not the only solo traveller which feels nice. Us ‘loners’ give one another a comforting nod much like the nodding dog in the back of your neighbours’ car. Anyway, the couple i met, Diane and Joe from Athens in Georgia, recommended a place to stay in Mendoza and where to eat but said that anywhere is good to eat there. And if you ask for ‘Tourist Wine’ it is a wine that they WANT YOU TO TRY so it is subsidised by the government which means it’s really cheap! I might just move to Argentina. I guess I wouldn’t be a tourist then but I could lay on the English accent. Though Diane assumed I was fluent in Spanish when I ordered a glass of red wine. My reply, “No, I just know the necessities!” (Sorry Nan). The drinks here are expensive but still cheaper than being in New York or London. A glass of nice wine is $4! My bed per night is $9. So, for every glass I’m drinking I’m basically consuming half a bed. The spring in my step is included.
The restaurant that I’m in now has live music. When I say live music, this guy has rocked up with a speaker, a laptop and a microphone. Me and two other guests listen. He has also brought two guests with him. I clap professionally at the end of each song. He’s singing Sting. Someone call the Police. (You’re welcome). One of his guests is wearing headphones. I’m thinking he can’t need a sound tech for this gig where he has 3 members in the audience. Maybe the guy has brought his own music. I wonder what he’s listening to? Oh, hang on, key change. Vocals don’t match it. It’s fun though. For me anyway. And I don’t mean to sound so mean. Of course any musical should be supported. By the way, the Seafood Pasta is to die for (Café Eucalyptus).
Change of subject. I make friends with a local that speaks English and I converse as much as I can in Spanish until I get stuck but he helps me out. I feel safe here. Don’t mind talking to strangers. I have a couple drinks with him before heading back to my hostel bar. I chat to some people here and have too many tequilas. The rest cannot be told. Purely because I don’t remember it.
I went to the Pumapungo Museo, one of the most significant museums in Ecuador. There’s an Archaeological Park out back, where you can walk through the extensive ruins of buildings believed to be part the old Incan city of Tomebamba. Thanks to the Spanish conquistadors who carted off most of the stone to build Cuenca, there’s not much left – but the park is good for a gander and a stroll with perhaps a stop at the snack bar at the bottom. It’s really beautiful.