Friday, March 25: Morning in Cuenca


Stairs by hostel

Stairs down to the river and new Cuenca


We got up and had a fresh roll from the small shop across the street from the hostel. Since we hadn’t heard from Daniel recently we went to one of the many small shops that have booths for long distance calling and Internet service. We gave Dan a call and spoke for about 5 minutes. The charge was $0.16 for the call! We then headed down the 100 or so steps and over the bridge to the new part of Cuenca.


Rio Tomebamba

The Rio Tomebamba that separates the old and new sections of Cuenca.


This is the Rio Tomebamba that separates old Cuenca from new Cuenca. Just across the bridge is a military hospital and a park.


Groups of school chilren

Groups of school chilren studying a science unit on the Water Cycle.


There were many groups of school children parading through the park with their teachers. Their banners indicated that they were studying a science unit on the water cycle.

In the park were several large flowering trees. On closer inspection they were hibiscus!

Large flowering tree
Large flowering tree
It's a hibiscus tree!
It's a hibiscus tree!”

In the park there were several interesting statues. There were also several climbing structures for kids to play on. They were the old style jungle gyms made of steel like the playgrounds we had as kids (before people got paranoid).

Statue of boy running

Statue of boy running


Staute of women and small children.

Staute of women and small children.




The municipal planetarium

The municipal planetarium


At the far side of the park was the municipal planetarium.

Across the street and a couple of blocks up Calle Alfonso Cordero we came to SuperMaxi, a modern supermarket. Inside it looks quite similar to a North American supermarket.

A supermarket and mini-mall

A Supermaxi supermarket and mini-mall
Looks like a normal supermarket

Looks like a normal supermarket



Chicken breats at $6.39/kg

Chicken breats at $6.39/kg


Many of the prices on basic groceries were less than we pay back in Canada. For example, chicken breasts were $6.39/kg compared to about $14/kg at home. Eggs were about $1.80 per dozen, rice was about $1/kg, etc. Some of the imported name brand stuff like Kellog’s Corn Flakes and Duncan Hines cake mixes were more expensive than at home. However, fresh fruits and vegetables were less than half the cost at home.


Fresh produce

Fresh produce


While shopping in the fresh produce section were met Tony and Steve from Michigan. Their son-in-law is from Cuenca and has an up and down duplex here. They are staying there. Since it is Friday it is Gringo Night at a local bar and they invited us along to meet some of the ex-pat community. Sounds like a great opportunity to network.

7 varieties of bananas

7 varieties of bananas


By the way, the fresh produce is excellent! They even sell 7 different types of bananas in the supermarket (and 2 types of plantain). We bought some fresh rolls, some sliced ham and some cold, freshly-squeezed orange juice and had our lunch outside the SuperMaxi.


Modern pharmacy

Modern pharmacy


As we walked back along Calle Alfonso Cordero we passed a modern pharmacy. It is nice to know that you can get medicines and other supplies readily.


The 100 steps and our hostel

The 100 steps and our hostel


As we walked through the park we could get a good view of the long set of 100 steps that lay ahead and of our hostel at the top.