We then had a really long driving day covering almost 290 miles to the city of Cuenca through the spectacular Andes foothills. Cuenca is located in the highlands of Ecuador at about 2,500 metres above sea level. The centre of the City is listed as UNESCO world heritage site due to many historical buildings and stunning architecture. We spent a few days here having a spring clean and doing some small jobs on the landy. We also did a load of laundry at a local launderette. The lady there told us to return to collect our laundry at 5pm so we went for a wander. We got back a bit early at 4pm, smiled at the lady, and sat ourselves down in the launderette seating area to wait. 5pm came. Then 5.30pm and still no sign of our washing! I approached the lady who looked astonished and told us our washing had been ready for us at 4pm but as we hadn`t asked and had sat straight down, she thought that we were very tired and resting before collecting our laundry! An hour and a half just sitting in the launderette when our washing was ready!
We had a lovely time wandering around the centre of Cuenca, admiring the colonial buildings and the lovely plazas. We caught a taxi into the city and he dropped us off at the main plaza. Gav suddenly said "I think I`ve left my mobile phone in the taxi"! " Run!" I shouted and off Gavin went like Usain Bolt in the 100 metres, as the taxi had stopped at lights a short distance away! Phew-he reached it and got his phone back! We had a tour of the wonderful cathedral of Cuenca-taking in both the crypt where prestigious people are buried and the terrace where we had a great view of the City.
Another highlight of our time in Cuenca, was a little dog where we were camping, that we named "Scruff". He was only a puppy and would come and sit on Gav`s knee at night for a fuss. On our last morning Scruff decided to bring us a present of a dead rat, and he ran towards me with it dangling in his mouth! I promptly climbed up the ladder of the roof tent shrieking loudly whilst Scruff looked very perplexed as to why his precious gift was getting such a reaction!
I have been before, 10 years ago and spent about 10 weeks here covering places we did not get the chance to visit on this trip.
Our highlight has got to be the amazing Galapagos islands (see last blog), followed by Cotopaxi and Quilotoa. We also had a lovely time relaxing with great people at Finca Sommerwind in Ibarra. We have met other overlanders mostly from Germany, Switzerland and the USA-but as yet no other Brits!