DAY 527 - CUENCA
Day 527 - Cuenca, Ecuador - 10621 km
I’m sort of stuck here in this beautiful city of Cuenca. The new tires that I have ordered some months ago should have arrived here at a hotel, but the package is stuck at customs. Nowhere in South America I’ve been able the odd size of tires (29+). Receiving packages from abroad can be quite problematic in South America, as I have also experienced in Mexico. Expect long delays, added taxes and lack of insight into the shipping proces. When I needed parts for my new bike in Mexico City I waited for months to have everything complete. Colombia seems to be an exception, two packages got shipped without delays and extra taxes. Luckily the my hotel host is extremely helpful, explaining me to pay the tax via a website. I wait some more days to see the respons.
Cuenca is the old colonial gem in the south of Ecuador and it’s not a pain to be waiting here. I’m in a quaint little hotel north from the centre with an overview on the historic centre where I catch up on my editing and writing. In the early mornings I take walks to explore the streets and squares, and see the town come to life. On the flower market, Quechua women wearing their colourful dresses check the new harvest of roses being delivered into town. Ecuador is one of the wolds largest exporter of roses.
There is a detail to the architecture which reminds me of San Francisco. Refined and more embellished than other colonial towns I’ve visited on my way. Felix, the hotel host, keeps an eye on the shipping. It might take a few more weeks. He promises me to send it onwards to Peru so I can continue my journey. I hope my tires, which are growing thin, can keep up for another thousand kilometres.