Tuesday, April 5 Visiting Museums

Museum of Aboriginal Culture
Dan, Theresa and Lane were heading out to Baños, about 10k from Cuenca to try the hot springs. So, we decided to spend the day going to a couple of museums that are within walking distance of our hostel.
The first was the Museo de las Culturas Aboriginenes (The Museum of Aboriginal Culture) that was just about across the street.
Cafe in the entrance area


There is an attractive cafe in the entryway to the museum. Unfortunately, the guidebook to the museum’s collection is only available in Spanish, so we couldn’t get the story behind many of the exhibits.

Stone hammers
Stone hammers
Shaped stone tool
Shaped stone tool
Seat on enemy
Seat on enemy
Pottery figure
Pottery figure
Pottery spiders
Pottery spiders
Cylindrical seals
Cylindrical seals
Sorcer's Kitchen
Sorcer’s Kitchen
Pots with holes for stringing rope
Pots with holes for stringing rope
Bone boards for ritual games
Bone boards for ritual games
Pots that whistle
Pots that whistle
Very large storage vessel
Very large storage vessel
Smaller storage vessels
Smaller storage vessels
Copper axe currency
Copper axe currency
large copper implements
Large copper implements
Circular copper knives
Circular copper knives
Large footed vessel
Large footed vessel
Ornamented pots
Ornamented pots
Detailed statue
Detailed statue
Face on a bowl
Face on a bowl
Pottery statue
Pottery statue
Graters for food
Graters for food

Museum gift shopThis is the museum’s gift shop. We left this museum and walked East along Calle Large until we came to the large imposing Banco Central buildings.
Banco Central Museo

The Banco Central complex consists of three buildings: the bank itself, an auditorium, and the museum.
Museum entryway

The entrance to the museum is very attractive with an alabaster floor. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take photos inside the museum. In the basement there is a display of currency used in Ecuador through history. The main floor has paintings and sculptures of important Ecuadorian persons as well as religious objects. The upper floor has a large display of aboriginal artifacts and dioramas depicting aboriginal life of the various groups. Of particular interest was the depiction of the Shuar tribe and their rituals of creating shrunken heads.
Flower garden by the museum

If you walk past the flower garden and between the museum and the auditorium, you can access the large area of Inca ruins behind the museum.
Layout of Pumapungo

The Pumapungo Archaeological Park contains the remnants of Pumapungo that was built in the late fifteenth century. Inside were the Temple of the Sun and the Convent of the Virgins of the Sun. They were part of one of the most imposing and beautiful cities of the ancient Inca empire, which had Tomebamba buildings dedicated to political, administrative and religious uses.

Walls of individual rooms
Doorways into rooms
Doorways into rooms
Eliptical Sun Temple
Eliptical Sun Temple
Terraced hillside

Terraced hillside
Botanical garden below ruins
Botanical garden below ruins
Where we sheltered from the rain
Where we sheltered from the rain
Looking up at the terraces
Looking up at the terraces
Varieties of cactus
Varieties of cactus
Cactus in bloom
Cactus in bloom
River below gardenRiver below garden

The broken bridge
We had a bit of trouble getting out of the bottom end of the gardens but we managed eventually. We walked along the river until we came to the broken bridge where we climbed back up to Calle Larga.
When we got back to the hostel, Dan, Theresa and Lane were back from the hot springs. They had arrived at 12:10 pm and the spa area was closed from 12:00 until 2:00. So, they soaked in the hot baths for an hour or so until it started raining and then they returned to the hostel.

We had an early supper at the Café Austria. We all had the $4.50 special which included a nice tossed salad, French onion soup, an entree with breaded sliced chicken breast, mashed potatoes, and a tomato slice, and sliced strawberries for dessert.

Café Austria
Café Austria
The gang
The gang
Soup & salad
Soup & salad

Sunset over Cuenca
The evening as finished off with a gorgeous sunset.