Friday, 21 January 2011


From time to time we hop on a Cuenca city bus and take a trip to the end of the line. This time, we picked up a #10 and took it to a place called Patuncay. At what we thought was the last stop (as the last people other than ourselves got off the bus), we went up to the driver just to make sure. Brian asked in Spanish if this was the terminus and the fellow driving the bus, first turned down his loud radio and then questioned us in English: "Where are you going?"

It's always sort of flattering when a native Ecuadorian answers in English and we smiled and gushed a bit and explained we were just on the bus for an adventure. The bus driver (as they do) thought we were crazy. He nevertheless advised he'd turn around in about 10 minutes and we made sure that it would be OK if we walked down the road and viewed the sights. Again he shook his head, (crazy gringos) and assured us it was fine.

We got off the bus and immediately noticed 2 things: the air was much fresher & Fredi was quite antsy. There was a goat & a cow off in a meadow and Shelley conjectured Fredi was wondering about the funny dogs or perhaps the whole place just smelled different.

Riding on the bus as we approached the end of the line, we passed through a part of Cuenca we'd never been in before and eventually into a small town with a large church, presumably Patuncay. There were cows & sheep & goats & roast pig on the side of the road and small fields with vegetable gardens & mansions & hovels & several places half built and since ignored & smiling babies on the bus & ancient grandmothers.

We walked down the road & pointed to a hacienda we thought Brian's friend Jan might like, breathed the crystal clear air & marveled at Fredi making low growling & whining noises in her throat. Sure enough, in about 10 minutes our bus came rolling down the road and the driver stopped & picked us up. We nodded friendly-like and sat on the other side of the bus so we'd get a different view on our return trip.

Getting close to home, we all felt a bit tired and quite dusty. The whole trip start to finish, was a little over 2 hours and it was definitely getting close to nap time.