29.10.2012 - 31.10.2012 22 °C
Arrived in Cuenca in early evening which is a city with lots of narrow streets, manly all one way, reminds me of European type cities.
As with the running theme of this trip the hotel checking didn't go to plan, seems like someone got the booking wrong and only half of the group had rooms booked and the other had nothing, which resulted in half of us walking with all our gear 4 blocks to another hotel which was supposedly better then the original. On seeing the "better" hotel I think it would be better once they finished renovating it, we had to climb over toilet bowls and under scaffolding to get into the hotel foyer and once checked in our lights in the room didn't work, but still happy to be able to put the bags down.
Next morning we walked around town and visited a Panama hat factory, well showroom with some straw around the place. I did try quite a few hats on but they don't seem to look good on me so ended up hatless at the end of the day.
Witnessed a protest on the main street, apparently a group wanting more money from the government to make the place better, which seemed innocent enough but with the large amount of police presence and circling police helicopter one would think something could explode at any time. The government had their own people out in force to counteract the protests, which were little school kids 5-6 yr olds handing out Ecuador flags with little notes on them saying how good Cuenca is, feels like the Middle East all over again.
Went to visit a few markets and outside one there was shouting and yelling and people started running towards something around the corner along with police....and me to with camera in hand, but unfortunately I missed all the fun as it looks like a couple of guys maybe from different political parties got stuck into it on the street but it was soon broken up. Few seconds later I did see some guy selling foot products get thrown around by the cops and all his stuff confiscated and thrown on the ground, I guess his product didn't sooth the cops sore feet.
That was pretty much my day, had a hot dog for lunch and bought some funny glasses for Halloween tomorrow, to be spent on the beach.