Admittedly, I don’t have a good memory. Usually, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what we did yesterday let alone last year. But, I think this past year might be different. Unlike some travelers, we never really lost track of time or place. I think this is because each day presented such new, unforgettable challenges.

A year ago today, we left the city of Cuenca in Ecuador for Loja. In our blog, we described our disastrous hike in Loja in some detail but I noticed that we didn’t write about Cuenca. And, I wondered why. Our introduction to navigating the Cuenca streets was one of our more frustrating moments; perhaps that’s why. But, I remember it just like it was yesterday.


We left the blue-footed boobies behind in Puerto Lopez to head to Cuenca. The total bus ride was suppose to take 10 hours. There is a reason that I look so happy in the “happy bus” post from Peru; the Ecuadorian buses were not what you’d call comfortable. On our original trip out to Puerto Lopez, the bus carried so many people that Chris had two people sitting in his lap (no joke).

After finally arriving in Cuenca after 10 hours of bus travel with no bathroom breaks and only a bag of chips to eat, we were tired and cranky. We decided to splurge for a taxi. With around 100 taxis parked in the bus station parking lot, it didn’t seem like a difficult thing to catch one. But, oh no, nothing is simple. And, on this particular day there was a taxi strike.

Our Spanish was pretty limited, so it took us a good thirty minutes to even get the fact that no taxis were running. Another thirty minutes later we finally figured out how to take a bus closer to the center of town. As we exited the local bus, the rain started. Tired, hungry, cranky, and soaked never add up to happy. Mix that combination in with splashing through the mud-puddled streets of Cuenca looking for lodging and coming up empty-handed because the first two places our guide recommends don’t exist, and my poor husband nearly had a meltdown on his hands.

No need to worry though, we clearly survived the tribulations of the day. I’m just not one to sugar coat things. Some days the deck is stacked against you, and our arrival into Cuenca was one of those days.

Cuenca’s underlying charm soon warmed us over. We wandered her cobbled streets and admired the ancient churches. We chatted up a famous hat maker and sipped hot chocolate while watching it pour outside. In essence, we made the best of an otherwise dismal day nearly a year ago today.

One Response to “A year ago today”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I feel the same way. Throughout this fall I’ve been thinking, “I was in India a year ago today.” Or, “today was the day we flew from here to there.” It’s amazing how those things become indelible, isn’t it?