February 16, 2011. Getting caught up on our time in Cuenca, considered to be the most important museum in Cuenca, the Banco Central Museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts from the ancient Inca residents of the valley where Cuenca now sits as well as dioramas depicting the typical life of the early inhabitants of the various regions of Ecuador. We were not allowed to take photos inside the museum, however, no such restriction for the ruins. Continue reading
Parque Nacional Cajas
On Sunday, February 13, 2011, we set out for a day trip to Parque Cajas. The park sits about 48 miles northwest of Cuenca. It encompasses over 1,100 square miles and sits mostly at more than 12,000 feet above sea level. It is dotted with 235 lakes and lagunas and is almost always wet and foggy. It feeds the rivers that flow into Cuenca and is run by the city’s water authority.
Especially important are small forests of Polylepis trees that are found in sheltered hollows and natural depressions. These trees grow at the highest elevation of any trees in the world. Continue reading
Galapagos to Cuenca–Plane, boat, buses, automobiles
We’re in Cuenca now. On Feburary 1, we made the trip from the Galapagos to Cuenca. We got up early in Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. Took a taxi to the bus terminal and caught the 7:00am bus to the dock. Then a short boat trip across the channel to Isla Baltra where the airport is located. Hopped the bus from the other side to the airport, got checked in for the flight then had some breakfast. Our flight from Galapagos landed in Guayaquil landed about 2:45pm (there’s a one hour time difference, Galapagos is in the Central time zone, Ecuador mainland is Eastern time. We got a taxi from the airport to the bus terminal which is very near by but not suitable for walking. We acquired a “helper” at the curb, who, for a small compensation took us to the bus company with the next bus leaving for Cuenca and he then escorted us to the correct departure point. He thought I should have given him more but I stood firm on my tip. The bus left at 4:00pm and we arrived in Cuenca at around 7:30pm, then a short taxi to our hotel. Continue reading