First stop in Gualaceo to visit the jewelry shops around the square but we quickly found a Colombian cafe down a long hall next to a shop. We intended to just have something to wet our throats but opted to try the empanadas de carne, 1 for each of us. We ended up asking for 4 more, they were just delicious. Next door is the Museo with a huge silver filligree (huge as in about 5 feet tall) necklace encased in glass.
Next we got on the road to Chordeleg to see the market (or was the market in Gualaceo and the empanadas in Chordeleg? can’t remember…..). At the Sunday market we found choclo pancakes (pancakes made with starchy sweet corn, a bit of cheese, milk and eggs, lightly toasted with a bit of pork fat, they were delish, too. We also had to sample the fresh papas fritas that they are famous for, they were worth every bit of their fame. Next stop at Paute where we had lunch! Locro de papas and shrimp ceviche at Restaurant Corvel (yum) where we sat in a lovely green and flowery patio out back near a children’s play area.
Driving along the road on our way back to Cuenca, just up from the river that has carved through the moutains for eons, the clouds formed up and poured onto us briefly…then the sun came out again and shined on the verdant mountainsides that wall the valley. Sun and rain every day year round in this country. Ecuador has stunning vistas that, while they may remind me of Colorado or of British Columbia, are colorful and beautiful and can only be seen here in Ecuador.