Wednesday came round all of a sudden and I made a determined effort to see more of the city because Alejandra was due to arrive the next day. I found a cafe with pictures of pancakes on the door and that sold it for me. Inside the place was totally bizarre, consisting of royal looking sofas, a large American jukebox, an assortment of things on the walls ranging from guns to license plates, and in the middle a cage containing two pampered budgies. I plonked myself down (though not on one of the sofas), the only person in there aside from a young girl behind the counter. I ordered myself an American breakfast, not really sure what would come out and wandered around the place finding more oddities including a boxing challenger thing and a billiards room. When it did arrive I was impressed. Coffee, fresh pineapple juice, a stack of pancakes with a bottle of syrup and a separate plate of scrambled eggs and bacon. If every American breakfast is like this it's easy to see why they're notoriously large.
|Quirky place for brekkie|
|Part of Pumapungo|
The basement level was all about Ecuadorian currency since the start of coinage, but was all in Spanish. I read the bits I could and it was pretty interesting. Before the US Dollar, the Ecuadorean currency was the Sucre, and you could see throughout the 20th century the increasing rate of inflation through the bills displayed. The final bill displayed was the 500,000 Sucre note, common come the end of the century. In 2000 they finally broke and switched to the buck.
|These latinos can GARDEN|
The way back to the old town took me past the university of Cuenca, where I was met with interested stares from students - a lone gringo wandering through their patch. Their uni only has one bar bless them, though to be fair to them it was packed out. I made my way back into the old town and stopped of in the Cultural Museum of the Indigenous. It's a privately owned affair, and the lady buzzed me in and handed me a booklet to read as I guided myself around their collection. Personally I don't think it was worth the $2. There were a few interesting articles including one ancient groups obsession with making statues of deformed children, but it was mostly pots and all the typical stuff like bits of flint and things, and it wasn't long before I was on my way back to the hostel.
That evening I ate "Seco de pollo" at a resturant beneath the grand central cathedral and it was as beautiful as the city it was constructed in. Another early night followed as Alejandra was expected at 9am so no 10am lie in for me!