Peter had been after me for awhile to come join him on one of his Sunday bike rides. Since we live on opposite ends of town some logistics were required. The excursion he had in mind was going to be several hours over bumpy dirt roads, and I didn't think my legs could withstand the outing plus riding to his house beforehand plus making it back home afterwards.
So I rode over Saturday and left my bike, then came back Sunday morning for our trip. I was supposed to be there an hour earlier, but South America got in the way. I went to the bus stop, saw the #7 coming, then watched it take the wrong turn. H-m-m-m---. Buses don't run that frequently on the weekends. Another one finally came down the hill and went another different way. What the hell??
I walked down to the corner where all these shenanigans were happening and discovered the police had barricaded the street. Why? Remember--asking "why" is not a winning strategy here.
I then sauntered past the barricade and up the hill, waiting with some other folks for the next bus. We weren't at an "official" bus stop (there wasn't even one in sight), but our location seemed logical. To us, that is, but not to the next #7 driver--he blew right past our waving hands like we were invisible.
Plan B, catching a taxi, had already been formulated and now was the time for implementation, but I had been noticing the past 20 or so that went by already had passengers. To tell you the truth I was beginning to feel a bit trapped and helpless because there was no Plan C.
Luckily I at last flagged down an empty cab. Jumping inside, I sat next to a driver who looked about 12 years old. "How old are you?" I asked. "17," he replied. I'd never seen a taxi driver so young; I'm not sure I'd ever seen a human being behind the wheel of a vehicle that childlike. But I needed to get to the other side of town an hour ago, so "Vamos!"
The kid had no idea where Peter lived when I told him the address but of course I did know, so he drove and I navigated. I'm happy to report he proved to be a very safe and careful driver. Give him a few years----. Then finally I arrived and off we went on our bikes.
Peter and his wife Karen live in a lovely home in the middle of "Gringolandia" on the west side of Cuenca--an area loaded with mid to high rise residence towers. I was amazed that 15 minutes from his place, on a bike no less, we were in areas that bore no resemblance to the city I thought I knew.
Just a few minutes into our ride the roads became dirt
and the surroundings were decidedly rural.
The vistas were amazing considering how close we were to "civilization."
We came across old structures like this that have been there for God knows how long.
As we journeyed further I saw family outings right beside one of Cuenca's four rivers.
It seemed like the area was getting more remote
then the next thing you know we're having tea in a packed cuy (guinea pig) restaurant.
The ride back was equally picturesque
and I was ready for some food and a nap as soon as we returned.
Thanks, amigo, for a terrific day!