Swing at the end of the world and what is hiding besides frame
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Cuenca. My driver put me out near main view point of city, so even I was broken by my backpack and swam in my sweat, I walked on peak to see what can wait for me in that city. And for gringos, who are always there, is waiting a lot.
For example harmony and order. I became accustomed to that already. But old city is a huge surprise, with a lot of restored buildings, magic green corners and calm boulevard along river which is cutting city. If someone have to much green Franklins can rest above umbrellas in one from cafes. I didn’t met with Franklin since long time, so I searched place to rest in shadows of numerous parks or absurdly huge cathedral which is on main, small square.
Something strange is happening here on cemetery…
Small and not so obvious museums and galleries open free for everybody, are enticing with theirs calmness. It’s really interesting to meet Museum of Panama Hat, because that’s a place from where that hat is came from. So where this name came from? Workers, who participated in construction of Panama Canal, used this hats to protect themselves from sun. Then hats became famous in United States. But there nobody cares from where this hats came from, so they named them Panama Hats. As You can see in mirror clothes don’t make a man, and even in hats on head which cost 300$ I can’t hide my plebs derivation 🙂
In Remigio Crespo Coral Museum, one from most important writer in Ecuador, I make a travel in time machine to amazing times of art deco. This place have very difficult atmosphere to describe, which don’t want to let You out. Maybe only to new opened cinema.
I found piece of floor to stay on Couchsurfing in Jakobo. Maybe that guy don’t have a lot of furniture, but spiritual furnishings inside him is like in palace! I didn’t met anybody from who emanated with so strong positive energy! Because I came there I should buy suntan oil and sunglasses 😀 Good time above his roof finally was ended. I put headphones with audiobooks and after two hours of walk a cross city I waited for car on highway to north.
To Ambato I came with few drivers but most interesting was part which I made with David. Capitan of Ecuadorian police told me on our way how theirs are working (did You know, that Ecuadorian police don’t have specialization? Every police man is a little bit as a highway police, car inspection, criminology crew and special squad. Moreover there is not enough police mans so sometimes they are moved to different part of country and they need to travel 200-300km per day). But he told me also about mystery cases in which were involved Indians from jungle. Huge part of their culture is based on killing people and, because of respect for enemy, reducing theirs heads. During last years even gringos became enemies. I imagine how my little head is hanging near someone belt…
When You caught roadside assistance You need to be ready for some delays 🙂
From Ambato I went directly to Banos, famous gringo’s resort. This place is famous because of many hot springs (which finally I didn’t met), amazing waterfalls and sweet things prepared on door-frame which have name Melcoche. Wait… on what? Yeah, on door-frame. Guys with hands huge as a stones are dragging handed on hook pastry. In that way they warm up, cut it and prepare small sweet packages. Hot sweetness with a little bit of nuts, cinnamon, sesame, coco sometimes with vanilla, anise and mint flavor are making heaven in mouth!
But there is also other possibility to touch heaven. In famous swing at the end of the world. Probably everybody want to swing there. Maybe not if someone have fear about altitude because that swing is on tree at edge of deep abyss. I also decided to walk there. In everybody is little kid, and also Facebook and Instagram require magnificent pictures. Road to top is like a black joke! I walk a lot on mountains but that kind of trail should be prohibited! After two hours I’m on top but my dreams were destroyed on coast, or maybe tree, of reality…
I didn’t met silent and calmness but only some crazy shouting. I imagined a lot of people, later I realized that are cows, but people were unfortunately real. I thought that it gonna be, as a lonely with two ropes and piece of wood on the end. But it’s normal amusement park. Queue to swings are like that to cashier’s before Christmas. Every person can make only 5 swings on extremely modern swing secured by titanium lines. People sweated as hell tried to take best picture to receive a lot likes. Few other swings, balance beam and restaurant are also fulfilled with international mix of tourist. I was glum, I sat on grass to make only things to which wasn’t queue. To start watch mountains. I thought also how is easy to manipulate. It’s just necessary to show only part of reality. I gonna prize for anybody who will show me picture of queues in that place. Finally I realized that much more fun I had from that difficult trail than from swing…
First You walk few hundreds steps…
… then still up…
… will quick stop on bench…
… to finaly stand in queue 🙁
I had plan to stay to night on square of Banos, and at evening to come back to Ambato. But something touched me (maybe something felt from tree?) and I decide to catch car right now. In one car, when driver told me that he want a cash for trip, I told that I want to get out. When he went down from 20$ to 5$ but still didn’t wanted to stop I took screwdriver in one hand. I had than vision of fight and how we gonna fall down. Finally I went out, and I caught another car. THAT WAS REAL SHOT! My driver have couchsurfer profile, so I asked him if he can host me for a little bit. And in that way I found place to stay for that night 🙂
In Ambato live 500 thousands people but, day before in Ecuador was Independence day, at streets was like from first day of January. NOBODY! Unless some culinary experiences and meeting that place could disappear from my memories as New Years Eve night. Only here You can try Pan de Pillo. Really alimentary, with flavor of… meat patty 😀 Maybe they prepare it on animals fat? Other thing which without trying You can’t leave that place is Colada Morana. Dense, sweet drink with fruits prepared by dark corn because of what have so dark color. Either few empanadas with chees, chicken, meat and prawn and our full stomach gonna scream: “No more!” but our mind gonna whisper “Gimme more…” 🙂
In main roles: colada morada and empanadas
Pan de pillo
Meeting were as a surprises. I met 21 years old Columbian guy who is travelling across Ecuador and jungle on street to receive a little bit of cash. And later Keira mount me on bench. That’s how I found my personal guide for whole day 😀
That was only beginning of meeting. In road to Quilotoa lake, which is inside volcano crater with that same name, I met amazing family. From main road to peak of volcano is something like 15 km. There is no taxi or even bus, so I decided to go on foot. Suddenly came red car, I make a sign, but just passed by. Passed but… after few hundred meters stopped! I run crushed by my big backpack. They made place for me and we went together. On top of volcano they invited me to theirs home, and because I usually never say no, I changed my plans and we went together to Quevedo.
Family and two friends are part of Seventh-day Adventist Church. That’s not my church and I didn’t know anything about it. But after 3 days which I spend in theirs home, and when they treat me as a king, I knew some things. Still it’s not my church and probably never will be, but time which we spend together gave me something to think. Open, very hospitable people. When they saw my old sandals they gave me new shoes and even t-shit 😀
To Santo Domingo I went with shirt seller. During whole road he didn’t stop talking, as a machine gun, so I could put between his words only my assent. That city is like a leviathan with huge market. Few strange guys walked on main square. Suddenly one of the citizen came to me and in conspiration told me, that they want to robber my backpack. So I took my home on back and went out of the city. From city center I was flushed by thieves and from suburbs huge rain. In night were rained so strong that I woke up, literally, with head in puddle in the middle of my tent! I thought about old good times, when in Brazilian Isla Grande during 5 days’s rain I thought to build pond with fishes 😀 Finally took me nice couple from there and we went together to capital city. I standed face to face with Quito.
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