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Monday, November 3, 2014

Wild and Wacky Festival of Cuenca

This is one of the biggest festivals in the city and commemorates Cuenca's freedom from their Spanish overlords (so to speak). The festival draws in large amounts of visitors from Guayaquil,Quito and further afield and the city is literally buzzing with activity.

There's a huge mix of cultural activities highlighting local dance, music and food, as well as inviting the other Latin American countries to share the fun. This results in a wide selection of street food, music and art, not to mention the prerequisite parades.

Variety of Dancers

We went to a concert that discussed (and played) the history of the tango from the 1880's to the mid 1970's. The odd thing was that there were no dancers. The Argentinian man who was host for the evening played the piano beautifully, but his accent was too much for my fledgling Spanish. I did get the gist of the music history part, but the anecdotes about the composers were beyond me. (Maybe one day...)
Mexican dia de los muertos shrine

Yup, those are all real rose petals around the cross

Mask of the Dead

This doesn't even begin to cover the stalls that line the walkways of the Tombebamba River. There are several types of vendors, those that you would normally come across in the mercados, traditional artists from Ecuador and other South American countries and then the "premium" fine artists. There is everything from fine crafted jewellery and clothes, to paintings and sculptures to hand made, one of a kind furniture.
Wood works & furniture
Carvings from the Amazon


The loom they're made on

Adorable little knit/woven dolls

Amazing ceramic llama

Wooden sculpture

Semi-traditional Indigenes Dress
(I think they took some liberty with the skirt)

If you also attend some of the stranger sort of activities like waiter races, laying a bed challenge (which is, I believe a bed making race), the great donkey race and other novelties, there is truly something for everyone.

Waiter Races

They do know how to finish off each of the days with a fairly decent fireworks, but they take the end of day literally...meaning midnight. We forgot about them the first night until they woke us from a dead sleep, even with the sound machine going. The second night we stayed up and watched them from the other side of the river.

Add to that some stunning weather (except the late afternoon) and it makes for a pretty amazing experience. We also got to see some of those things that we call "only in Ecuador" moments, which is probably not even near correct, but here's an example. An intersection was blocked off to set up a stage for a music concert that evening. Were the roads blocked off/redirected? Heaven's no! Here's what happens when you have a wide enough sidewalk:

We're thinking: "Okay, so how do WE get by?"

Safely crossed, the view from the other side

Why let a huge stage interfere with your communte?
We'll leave you with a few more tastes of the fiesta in no particular order. Perhaps it's time that you thought about coming and checking it all out for yourself!

I may eternally regret not buying this pillow!

They added a "food" section this year.

Beautiful women of the Amazon - she is a ceramacist

She is a weaver

She is a wood worker

Puente Roto Art Kiosks

Amazing dragon sculpture

Painting and sculptures
Hormigas (Ants) in an pretty neat installation
Snow cones!!
I know, you're all wondering if we resisted the huge temptation of buying anything once again, and the answer, in short Here's the amazing sculpture that we picked up. (Isn't it Steam Punk-ish?) We think it will bring in a whole new texture to our new digs once they're ready. Until next time, be well.
The artist Luis Moreno

El Caballo
He is NOT eating a small child...despite what it looks like.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a fun time. That's a great looking sculpture, I like the photo of it eating the child, there are a series of photos like that on the web, showing similar odd pictures.