Spoilt in the sense of a beautiful, genteel city, with yummy ice cream and chocolate shops, nice restaurants and bars. Spoilt with the natural beauty of the Cajas National Park with it's myriad of lakes and muddy walking paths. But spoilt especially by two people there: David and Luis.
I met David last month in Arica; he was riding with his friends Wolf and Fabiola northwards back to their homes in Cuenca and Tulua in Colombia respectively. David moved to Cuenca about 6 years ago after living in Mexico for a while. He's really created his own slice of heaven I think here now! We had fantastic conversations - much about something called the Enneagram (which I'm going to write about soon), about life, about politics, about food, about everything. He also spoilt me in his beautiful home - with a feather duvet/doona:), the perfect dinner of cheese, crackers and wine topped with lively conversation with one of his friends, Sumana, a care package when I left, and just plain open armed welcome-ness into his home and life. When you travel so long, these takes of a home are a treat - and sometimes make you want to pack your bags and find a flight out of there!
Luis was the security guard at the refugio at Cajas National Park. They work 2 days on, 2 days off, and if there is no-one staying at the refugio, are the only ones there from about 5pm to 8am. After getting lost and trying to create my own path along a cliff face, I returned to the refugio just a tad wet and hungry - and was treated to a crackling fire and a smiling Luis to welcome me back. While my socks and shoes dried, Luis turned up with some crackers and cheese his sister had made, and then we proceeded to talk about everything and anything! His life (he's got around;), politics (again - this morning too - another chat about the current president, Correa who everyone respects and likes - he's got at least a 85% support rating), traveling, women - all of it! Then he prepared some tasty little potatoes called Melloros which are quite starchy, but very tasty to accompany the broccoli I had brought with me. After heading back to a cold refugio - this was about 3970m in altitude, he made me move up to next to his room, so I could get some onflow of heating, and then tucked me in! I was woken up with hot tea, and we sat and chatted in the morning sun until his replacement came and he left.
2 wonderful experiences in 2 beautiful places.