Cuenca is the grandfather of Ecuador, with great colonial architecture, and cobbled streets to walk round in. Don’t try to be friendly to the guy who runs the internet cabinas anywhere in Cuenca – he doesn’t sell blank CD’s, he doesn’t know what a memory stick is and he doesn’t have any spare pencils.
Surrounded by all the majesty of a fallen empire, you can excuse the pamphlet at your hostel for saying “Cuencanos, known for their traditional demeanor and conservative cultural values, match their 18th century surroundings and continue a proud intellectual tradition that has produced more notable writers, poets, artists, and philosophers than anywhere else in Ecuador”.
Having dismissed this as tripe and called for another round of caipirinÌƒas, Cuenca was where we had the best political-historical chat – with a motorcycle addict who revved round town, picking up hot women and photographing them against backdrops of the afore-mentioned imposing colonial architecture. They were quite good.