August 24, 2019 Cuenca, Ecuador I’ve always had a cowlick at the top of my head. I want my hair to “poof” and have body on top, but the dang cowlick has always made it just fall forward and look flat. When I was a little girl, my grandmother owned a beauty shop. Like two mad scientists […]
If you ever get hungry for exotic foods as well as adventure, then you’ve scrolled to the right story.
One thing we’ve learned, throughout our travels, is to keep an open mind, especially when it comes to food. Frankly, John is better at this than me. Before our house sitting, travel-the-world days, I always ordered chile relleno whenever we’d go to a restaurant specializing in Mexican food. Every time! Hey, I know what I like. But now, I’m learning to take a risk and be surprised. In fact, trying the traditional foods of the places we visit has become one of the best parts of our travel experiences.
Even though I’m no Betty Crocker in the kitchen, I’ve always enjoyed watching folks eat. Not so much how they shovel food into their mouths, but what they find delicious. Whether it’s in a fancy restaurant, a friend’s house, the state fair, or on the street, I definitely get a kick out of what people chow down on. It’s not an obsession or anything like that, but as a traveler, while eating out, if the menu is in a language I don’t understand and there are no pictures, I become a food voyeur. I learned, when we were in Korea, that it’s better to say, “I’ll have what she’s having,” than to take a chance!
Making their home in the South American Andes mountains, the Incas were incredible.
The Andes are, without a doubt, some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. But for all their glory, they are also some of the most stark and barren. Yet, the Inca were able to cultivate and reap immense harvests from the Andean sharp slopes and scattered waterways. They developed hearty varieties of crops, such as potatoes, quinoa, maize and corn. They built irrigation canals that wound around the mountains. They carved out terraces into the hillsides, so that no matter how much it rained (and it does rain A LOT here), each growing bed never flooded while maintaining the perfect amount of moisture.
WARNING: to those that easily get creeped out, you might want to skip this story, or at least brace yourself for what is to follow. Okay, okay, with all the awful things going on in the world nowadays, this may seem tame, but at least make sure you don’t turn out the lights as you read on…
So, uh, what do you know about shrunken heads?
Remember the book The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins? I doubt if you’ve read it lately, unless you have kids or grandkids. It was written in 1938 by the late Theodor Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) and it’s a children’s classic. It’s about a peasant named Bartholomew Cubbins who was ordered by the king to remove his hat as the regal entourage passed by. Well poor ole Bart has a problem. Every time he removes his hat, a new one appears on his head.
This keeps going on and on and really perturbs the king to the point that he threatens to have Cubbins executed. And then, suddenly at about hat #451 the new hats keep getting more and more ornate until at #500 a beautiful jewel-studded crown appears, the king grants him a reprieve and gives Cubbins 500 gold coins for the crown. Geisel, who collected hats, wrote the zany book as a social commentary about abuse of power.
If somehow you’ve missed it, it’s worth the read.
John and I are “go” people. Whether it’s hiking in a jungle, climbing an ancient pyramid or jogging along a roaring river, we love discovering new places, as well as meeting new people. We’re outdoor adventure junkies. So before coming to Ecuador, we did our homework on the really cool places around Cuenca. It’s our first time south of the equator, and while our friends and families are sweltering with summer heat in Texas, it’s winter time down here! It’s the first time, ever, that I can remember wearing heavy wool socks and jackets in June! Go figure!