Wednesday, October 14, 2015

#travelpost - Cuenca, Ecuador

On Wednesday we made it to our final place in Ecuador to the UNESCO city of Cuenca. We arrived late afternoon, a couple of hours before sunset at Bauhouse hostel in the centre of the city. We were deeeesperate for laundry so we wasted no time in sending an entire backpacks worth of clothes over to a place with the fitting name Gringo's Laundry. We picked up an empanada from a Chilean bar on the way back into town and ate it on the main square whilst we people watched and figured out what there was to do over the next two days. For the rest of that night we got some stuff from the supermarket and had pasta back at the hostel but not before we caught some others watching Mad Max in the TV room so took advantage of having an actual sofa and tv and joined them.

We did a lot of eating in Cuenca but more importantly I had my favourite meal of the whole trip so far. Our first morning walking around town we went to a market selling flowers, fruit, veg, meat, fish... All sorts... But on the bottom floor looking up at the third floor, I spotted it. A huge sign that said hornado. Hornado is a dish of roasted pig with plenty of crackling served with mote (a kind of corn), a soft potato and a pickled salad. It wasn't even twelve yet but the place was heaving with people eating it and in our minds we'd convinced ourselves that if we were to go back later it would all be gone. All of the nine pigs worth that was dotted around the room. So we pulled up a seat and ordered a plate each. 

Like I said, we ate a lot of food in Cuenca and it was a lot of great food. We had arepas from a Colombian place with ribs and belly pork, chicken and nachos from a cool brewery whilst watching Ecuador play Argentina (2-0!!), hot chocolate which actually came as melted chocolate, whipped cream and hot milk to add yourself and.... Guinea pig. It's huge in Ecuador and Peru and one of the most traditional of dishes so we had to try... Harry made me. We went to a place famous for it Guajibamba, recommended by my Aussie gal pal Tanya who stayed in Cuenca earlier this year. It took an hour to prepare and we got to see it cooking on the spit in the back and... It really wasn't too bad, in fact it was actually kind of nice! It tasted like a mini roast pig with lots of crackling. Sorry to any of my vegetarian/Guinea pig owning friends. 

Overall I think Cuenca was one of my favourite cities that we've been to so far. It was a good size, had some really good places to eat, the people were really nice and the city was beautiful! It was nice to see actual night life too, we were there over the weekend so there was more than usual but so far in Ecuador we found it really hard to enjoy a drink at night because everywhere is so quiet but this time around there was plenty of people around town late and the bars had a more studenty feel! 

We're currently on the bus to Peru as I'm writing this, fresh from immigration, and today we're travelling to a beach town called Mancora for a few nights. 

Thanks for reading,
Ciao x

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