Say Cheese and Then Go to the Dogs

In one of the Gringo newsletters, we heard there was a man

who sells cheese and sausage on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. If you do not catch him during this time, your are out of luck. Varieties of cheese in the supermarkets here, lack a certain enticement; it is the same with the cheeses in Hungary. You have to search for something better than pedestrian.

Getting off the bus by the University of Cuenca, we took a short stroll around the campus after a large ceramic piece

caught our eyes.  What a beautiful university this is. Each of the buildings are different in architectural style, walking the stunningly maintained grounds was a pleasure, and at this time, there are few students around. It must be between semesters or summer break. Part of me thought about sending in a C.V. and the other part of me said, “No, you have left teaching.” Only time will see which side wins out. That is not to say that they have an opening even if I did apply.

Back on track, we found our Gringo, who actually is from Sorrento, Italy. He was chatting with two other Italians.

Business was not hopping. We tasted three of his cheeses and bought small portions of two of them. They were expensive, but they are quality products. My mouth was watering for sausage, but the sausage was more like salami. Dried, not fresh Italian sausage, we left it. We said we would be around until the end of the month, so we may be back for refills. He shyly posed for a picture. Say, “I sell CHEESE!”

Close to his location, according to the tourism map, is a museum of archeology. We looked for it, but a number of the roads in this area are under construction. We walked about 10 blocks in various directions, obviously being in residential areas, not commercial. We asked a multitude of people where the museum was located. Not a single person had a clue even when shown the map. We found the cross streets where it is supposed to be according to the map, but there was nothing there. We hunted and

searched. We found a number of adorable dogs, but no museum.

Finally, we found ourselves back at the University of Cuenca, but at a different entrance than before. Ron asked the guard if he knew where the museum was located. By this point, we had hunted for an hour with no luck. Still, the guard was clueless as was the second guard who joined him. Just as we were about to call it quits, a few students passed by leaving the campus. Ron asked if anyone of them spoke English. Three young men shoved a young woman forward. Again, Ron asked, “Do you know where the Museo Arquelógico Universitario is located?” Suddenly, the three men found their voice. They said in unison it is over there as they turned to the left and pointed in the distance. It was a large white building at the back of the campus. With much gratitude expressed, we headed in that direction.

The guard felt obligated for some reason to escort us part of the way. Perhaps he felt responsible for strangers on the campus. We followed trails, walked through a construction

section, and finally arrived at the building. Cerrado! Closed! There were no signs stating the hours. Only one sheet was near the door dating back to 2002. The gate nearby was on the exact street that we walked by on more than once. However, all signage is on the side of the building. The street side is a blank slate of white. There would not have been any identifier as we passed. Even if there were, we would still have had to walk blocks and blocks to get close to the building. It would not have been evident from the street that the museum was closed.

Still, we were able to see more of the campus. The swimming pool and gym are open to the public. The campus is even more stunning when you really walk through it. There are three cafeterias spread around, so snacks or meals are never too far away.

Leaving the riverside to get back to the Mercado, one has to climb stairs. This particular staircase has 99 stairs.

Thankfully, there are breaks, so I stopped presumably to take photos, when in fact, I was getting my breath.

After a stop at the Mercado for chicken and some fruits, we were on the bus for home once again. We were a little shocked at the price of chicken breasts. Two healthy sized breasts came to $8. This is cheaper than the SuperMaxi, but still rather high. Ground beef has been relatively a bargain.

This little guy is in the window of the local florist.  I really

want to take him home.