Thursday, 17 December 2009

Tuesday 15th December

Another success: we took clothes to the laundry this morning and, more importantly, got them back again, CLEAN, this afternoon.

First thing we went on a brief tour of the city, saw a few areas that we had not got to on our walk yesterday afternoon. Cuenca is a pretty (in places) French colonial city which makes abundant use of the nearby marble mines. We went into the new cathedral, again heavily marblised. It is interesting to see how Catholicism has fused with native sun worship to make some quite bizarre and remarkable religious constructions. As we draw nearer to Christmas, the scale and tastelessness of nativity scenes is increasing daily.

Next we jumped into the car for a quick spin through the reckless traffic to a Panama hat factory. There was a really well executed history / museum as part of the factory which incorporated parts of the production process. It culminated in the inevitable shop which had wares ranging from about $25 to well in excess of $1,000. With the news that Sam and Ruth have just got engaged (Yey, many congratulations and lots of love), Caroline was on a mission for a wedding suitable hat.

We have included some piccies of Cuenca and also a scary one of the lighting in our room for anyone who has experienced Part P.

Power is off from 7pm to 10pm today so we departed the hotel by torchlight at around 7 aiming to find somewhere for dinner. A local cafe proves a good choice, though the candlelit experience is a little surreal (Caroline says "romantic") and the waitress' smile disappears every time you mention something hot from the menu. It's about 9:30 when we scrounge a candle to light our way to bed.

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