Quito to Cayambe

Woke up and had a shower before heading down for breakfast. Met the other (Jennifer, Sarah and David) and jumped in a taxi to the Tetefesiqo. From there we ascended to 4100 feet in a cable car to the top. At that point you had a really fantastic view of Quito and the surrounding countryside. We stayed there for a little while before descending in the cable car to catch a taxi back to our hotel. At the hotel we packed and then met the others in the lobby. Carlos then took us by minibus to the bus station where we picked up a very modern bus. 2 hours later we arrived at a junction in Cayambe where we waited for a short while for another bus. Once that came id did not take very long to get to the Hacienda Gachala 1580. After getting our room sorted we were on the move again to visit the centre of the world at Quitsato Sun Dial which was very cool. After that we headed back to the Hacienda and chilled out with a beer by the pool. We then had dinner in front of the fire before moving into the pool room for pool and a game of set by the fire. After that Pheebs and I headed to bed (where I’d already lit a fire!)

Cuenca to Quito

Woke up (as per usual) and had a shower (we both did) before finishing packing. We then had breakfast before getting a taxi to Cajas National Park with the rest of our tour. Once there we paid and then started the walk around the lake (which was at 4000 feet above sea level) (and which we all noticed)! After an hour and a half we made it back to the taxis (who waited whilst we walked) who then raced back to our hotel. From there Pheebs and I checked out and left our luggage in Heather and Doug’s room before wandering into tow n with Jennifer. We ended up at a vegetarian restaurant. After which Pheebs and I wandered along the river(and I got a bit splashed). We then made our way back to the hotel (via the ice cream shop) and waited for a little while for everyone else to get back. We all then got into taxis to the airport for our trip back to Quito. The flight was only 35 minutes and once back we got a van back, to the original hotel we started in!. Pheebs and I went out for dinner (which involved beef (and beer and ?) before going back to the hotel.

Cuenca

We got up showered and then met everyone in the lobby as we were walking into town for breakfast. Carlos made us walk for a little while into the city centre before we go to the restaurant. After breakfast we were given a short tour of the city with a walk through the new church which was interesting, as it was so busy for a Monday! (and a morning was well). After that we were marched to the Panama hat factory at the outskirts of town and given a tour of the factory. Interestingly enough the panama hat is from Ecudor “NOTâ€? Panama. Apparently when building the canal they shipped all the hats to Panama and it sort of acquired the name (due to a large number of hats sold). From there we took a taxi back to the centre. There we found the Wandebu for lunch. After that we walked to the Museo central and wandered around looking at various artefacts and cultural exhibits. After that we walked outside and wandered around the Inca garden which was very pleasant. They also had some birds in a cage. After another long walk back to the hotel we chilled for a bit and then got ready for dinner. We walked into town and found the Mexican which was good . After that we walked back to our hotel and went to bed.

Banos to Cuenca

Woke up and went to breakfast. After which we got packed ready for our long trip to Cuenca. Once the mini bus arrived we piled on (with our luggage strapped down on the roof!) and then set off. After several hours of driving and being amused at the near misses on the road we descended into a little village for lunch (which was just in the clouds) From there we drove another couple of hours until we reached Ingapirca the old Inca ruins. Carlos gave us a guided tour of the site and then a quick tour of the museum before we set off again. Another couple of hours later we arrived at La Casona hotel just outside the centre of Cuenca. Once we got settled we all met up again for dinner Carlos took us to a Chinese restaurant where he had to translate the menu for us. Once we all ate Pheebs and I headed back to the hotel and ended up watching TV for a while before going to sleep.