Thursday, March 21, 2013

Road Trip

Last weekend we took a road trip to Riobamba and Banos with our good buddies Larry and Karen Schunk.  This trip takes us along the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" heading north toward Quito.  It's about a 4.5 hour drive from Cuenca.  The countryside between here and Riobamba is just gorgeous.  Here are a few pictures of the beautiful Ecuadorean countryside.

Just before arriving at Riobamba, we stopped to take a look at the oldest Catholic church in Ecuador.  It's located in Colta and was built in 1534.

We stayed at a lovely hacienda in Riobamba, Hosteria La Andaluza.  It was just lovely.  They even put flowers on our bed every night.

Even though we have lots of mercados here in Cuenca, one of the highlights was visiting the mercados in Riobamba on Saturday.  That's the main market day, and people come from all around to sell their wares.  There is even a market that consists of people from Otovalo.  They even do sewing and repair right there at the market.

Karen bought a hat for $13

Larry tried on hats

but they were all too small

Everyone used treddle sewing machines.  They are portable.

Beautiful embroidered blouses

The market was full of adorable children and their beautiful mothers
We then had the good fortune to get a private tour of the main cathedral with Jorge who appeared to be the caretaker of the cathedral.  The outside of the cathedral is original, and seems to have been built sometime in the 18th century.  The inside has been redone and is very modern.

After a snack at a local bakery, we headed over to the two different meat and produce markets.

This pork looked so yummy, but we had just eaten our snack.

There's also a beautiful waterfall just the other side of Riobamba that we stopped to see.

We drove over to Banos as well, hoping to see the erupting Tungurahua volcano.  But, the volcano's most recent eruption had stopped.  But, we had a very yummy meal at the Swiss Bistro restaurant where Larry proclaimed he had the best steak he's had in Ecuador.

It was a fun, fun weekend!