So far we have done more exploring around Ecuador than we have around Cuenca itself. It always seems the easiest things to discover are the last as well. So we recently decided to remedy that with some day and weekend trips.
We went this past weekend to Girón and the Yunguilla Valley. Girón is known, as far as we can tell, just for the waterfalls in the cloud forest high above it. But it's a quaint and tidy little town with a slower pace than Cuenca. And with only a 45-minute, $1 bus ride (and a beautiful one at that), it was already worth the visit. But we obediently came, as instructed by our guidebooks, for the falls.
|The local spectator sport, and its spectators|
|The pool we descended upon|
|And it's a pool, so of course there are...ostriches|
The whole vast expanse of this area is the Yunguilla Valley, but just 15 minutes farther on from Girón and a fair descent in altitude is where the climate really gets temperate and the second homes (habitually called "quintas," or fifth homes) start popping up. The Olympic size of the valley and its pitch make it seem like stadium seating designed for houses. It's hard to get a bad view here. After our previous six months in the Cuenca campo, Di made the comparative comment here, "Now this is clean, beautiful country living."
That's it, grab your toothbrushes, kids, we're movin' to Yunguilla!