We have been blessed to have my sister visit with us for ten days this month. It isn't an easy trip to make (from Los Angeles to Cuenca). We did it last summer and know how exhausting it can be. Luckily, everything turned out good regarding the travel portion of her vacation.
However, one should always keep in mind that plans can change and often do. My sister arrived in good health and she adjusted very well to the altitude. But on the day we were going to leave for our trip to the jungle, she came down with the stomach flu. It's a good thing that it happened here at home and not in the jungle.
Also, my husband hasn't been feeling very well lately. So we all feel that the trip to the jungle just wasn't meant to be. Looking at life through the lens that all things happen for a reason makes unexpected occurrences not a big deal.
We did become tourists though and took several tours during my sister's stay. We were very pleased with the tours that we booked through Terra Diversa, which were the half-day Cuenca City Tour, the all-day Cuenca Charms Tour, and the all-day tour to the countryside towns of San Bartolome, Chordeleg and Gualaceo.
The Cuenca City Tour was a walking tour of old town including Parque Calderon and the surrounding churches. We also rode up to Turi for a panoramic view of Cuenca and went to Homero Ortega, a workshop that produces the panama hats. It was a very fun and interesting day.
On the Cuenca Charms in a Day Tour, we spent the entire morning in the Banco Central museum. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the archeology, ethnography, on-site ruins, and Inca gardens and explained all of the exhibits to us. After lunch in a restaurant in the San Joaquin neighborhood, we went to Banos to see the hot springs. Overall, it was a very good day.
Also we were able to enjoy some of the celebrations in Cuenca occurring for the 454th anniversary of it's founding. There was special music, folk dancing, food and shopping at La Esquina on Doce de Abril which is walking distance from our apartment. The weather was gorgeous with sunny mornings, thunderstorms in the afternoon, and fireworks at night.
My next blog will include pictures I took on our trip to the countryside.