About 30 years ago was still almost isolated from the rest of Ecuador. There was no paved road between Quito & Gauyaquil..
Cuenca has about 27 Catholic Churches..But the multicolored lamps,the red and blue ribbons tied around statues, the offering'sgaudy colors underline the indian influence on their religious beliefs. In this respect Cuenca is a curious example of cultural cross breeding.
Cuenca is a small provincial town , the country's third largest and
maintains the architecture and the feeling of the colonial period. It's
cathedral dates back from the 13th. century! Almost midway between Quito
and Guayaquil, Cuenca is point between the snowy peaks of the Cordillera
and the tropical humid plains.
...Young Indian Child Of Cuenca....Beautiful Rectangular Fields...
Flying over this area shows landscape which
the farmers keep like a fine tooth comb, the beautiful kept square
or rectangular fields, lush brown or green form a most beautiful mosaic
dominated by far away volcanoes.
... Neat Old Market!...
...Yep It's Yours Truly In a huge cave ...
...Old Man In Banos...
Banos is named for the Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water, Nuestra Señora del Agua Santa. The church is a place of pilgrimage for those who come to thank the Virgin for many miracles and to ask her blessing. The church was built in Gothic style from from volcanic rock at the start of the century. Inside the basilica are depiction of the volcanic eruptions and the Virgin's miracles.You can Visit the museum within the basilica and these museums and art galleries
and Hot springs! The baths, banos, are located within walking distance of the center of town.
...Begger on the steps Banos...
The water is colored by the high mineral content, and the temperature varies by the amount of cold water mixed into the bath Enjoy the Thermal Springs in town at Banos de la Virgen, by the waterfall, near Hotel Sangay, and Santa Clara baths with sauna and a gym. El Salado, Santa Ana, and Eduardo's baths are near town.
...The Baths In Banos...
Banos is in a valley of waterfalls and hotsprings, and is a mecca for international travelers... Banos has a small town atmosphere,
It is aprox. four hours by bus from Quito, it offers hotsprings, horseback riding, trekking, rafting, climbing and more.. It also offers easy access to Riobamba, the starting point of the exhilarating train journey down the Devil's Nose to the coast, and to Puyo, one of the gateways to the Amazon Jungle.
...The Main Square In Banos... Making Yummy Taffy...
A bit outside of center of town, is a privately..owned Zoo, which may nicely surprise you with large cages built right into the hillside. and may lovely
animals ...Big turtles, and Many Other animals are loose ..This zoo is well kept
However, Sad to me as usual people need to give up there large cat's cause
they are too big to handle anymore ... They only know they miss something
when they no longer have it..Sad...We should all think before we get involved
with these type cat's ect..
...These beautiful Cat's Were Once Owned By Someone In Banos... They were very friendly...However, they are wild and cannot be trusted... This Is Where They Wind Up How Sad!...
There are lot's of animals in the zoo that are just wandering round and you
can pet them...it is quite informal...
...Loose Animals... Dave petting a huge turtle...
Only twenty or so years ago Cuenca was still just about isolated from the rest of Ecuador.
There were no paved roads to link it to Quito, one of the countries most important cities.
Cuenca has the best traditions of the country with neither very rich or very poor families. The climate
is like spring all year round. As we walked around Rio Tomebamba, at the
base of the old quater, we see the image of Castile, with old washerwomen and it's lovely ochre colored houses,
Exciting and strange is the city of Cuenca , with it's old wrought iron balconies imported from France and the people
beleive the style of the houses to be French
Thursday's market is usually held around 9 de October and 10 De Agusta
Square is one of Ecuador's most colorful markets.Thousands of the peasants still dress in their regional costumes sell their
pottery, leather, poncho's ,and their famous Panama hat's, as well as lovely baskets.
Flowers are everywhere!.
Couple In The Market Village of Gualaceo..
Narrow and winding, the road going northeast crosses a mountain region grooved with many valleys is just beautiful
about 15 miles further on reaches the village of Gualaceo whose restored
Casa Municipal dates back to the 16th. century. it is one of Ecuador's oldest colonial homes. The charming central square, with it's
red-flowers, it's palm trees invites us to hang out a while to get the true feeling of the place.
You can even see a hallucinogenic tree, (the huando) which you will reconize by it's white, yellow and pink flowers. The Indians
often plant these trees in front of their homes to chase away the evil spirits!
The Market In Gualaceo ...
Less than 6 miles from Gualaceo through a lovely valley is the village of Chordeleg located on the top of a hill. The church on the square is green and white
the houses are humble. Mules and the peasants are dressed in there regional costumes, Chordeleg a placid place, it's hard to imagine that it once was a pre
Incan city. What is most impressive of Chordeleg, are the jewerly and goldsmith shops. There must be more than 60 of them on a street no more than about 200 yards long!
They make rings, bracelets, necklaces and little animals. Some of the pieces of jewerly are imitations of Mexican , Guatemalan works. It is less expensive to buy gold in Chordeleg than in
New york, London, or Paris.
Women Working at Market In Cuenca...
Another short trip staying in Cuenca is Ingapirca about 42 miles north of Cuenca the ruins are Ecuador's most important site,
Ingapirca was apparently built in the 15th. century, The group of ruins is made up of different elements.
The ellipse and the depositories, Pilaloma, Ingachunga, the zoomorphic stones, Intihuaico and Cara del Inca, I was told in spite of the recent research the mystery regarding it's true
meaning of this site. Was it a fortress or a Temple dedicated to the sun??