Or “Our Trip to Mirador de Turi”
After living in Cuenca, Ecuador for a full six weeks, we felt that it was about time for us to expand our horizons and take a little trip out of the city. Emphasis on the “little”. Turi is actually a small village in the canton (kind of like a county) of Cuenca, Azuay Province and is at the southern ridge of this Andean valley. As the crow flies, Mirador de Turi (literally Viewpoint of “Brother” – a Quechuan word) is about one mile up from our apartment building which is in Cuenca proper.
From almost anywhere in Cuenca, looking south and up, one can see the Church of Turi standing guard over the valley. At night, it is beautifully lit up and we’ve heard that sunset from this viewpoint is worth the trip up. Next time.
Not finding a crow willing to haul us up to Turi, we along with our friends Greg and Brenda, hailed a taxi and paid the driver $2.50 to get us across the Panamerican Highway and up the hill to the viewpoint in front of the church. We also could have taken the 25 cent city bus or climbed the 439 stone stairs straight up to Turi. The bus only runs once per hour and we didn’t know how long we would have to wait for it and none of us are in good enough shape (yet) to climb those steps without 911 on our speed dial. Also next time.
In addition to the amazing views, there are many artisans who make their home and living at Turi. Probably the most famous and noteworthy is the ceramicist Eduardo Vega. His home, studio and retail store have the same premium view that the church of Turi does. A visit to Sr. Vega’s studio was another goal of this trip as we had decided to buy two of his mugs as early Christmas presents to each other. Before any of you “Christmas comes AFTER Thanksgiving” purists boycott this blog, you need to know that Christmas decorations have been up for WEEKS in Ecuador. Also, we are really tired of drinking our morning coffee from the tiny little teacups in our apartment.
Behind the church, craft shops, etc. one can continue on down the road and come upon cows being walked by grandmothers. We didn’t go much further down the road but we know that Cuenca’s new jail is located down that way. Recently more than 600 inmates were transported from various facilities to the new one in Turi. They were accompanied by 350 police officers and were transported in 18 of Cuenca’s city buses. The transfer took a mere three hours, executed after midnight earlier this week!
It was a beautiful afternoon up at Mirador de Turi. No late afternoon thunderstorms and we were able to catch one of the Inmate Shuttles back down to the valley in time for supper.
Our next post will take a pictorial gander at some local business practices that might give you a little chuckle. We’re quite certain it won’t be published before Thanksgiving so Los Ganos de Cuenca would like to wish everyone a beautiful day of giving thanks. We will be sharing a meal with the good people of Cuenca Christian Church and many other Expats will be celebrating the holiday, too. Ecuadorians will be going about their usual business as the 4th Thursday in November is simply the cuarto jueves de noviembre to them!
We are very thankful to God for bringing us Cuenca and for our family, friends, and readers all over the world. Happy Thanksgiving.
What we’ve learned: Beautiful days in Cuenca with an iPod camera equals washed out pictures! Sorry about that folks.
What we need to learn: Not to expect too much from a free blogging website. This post took a lot of time to format and a lot of hair was pulled out, too!