We also use some of the quiet time to continue pressing our university for William’s letter describing his ISCED field of study. No response to calls and e-mails. Silence. Not a good sign. Anne has a Master of Science degree from another university. We begin the process of obtaining documentation on that degree as a fall-back.
Friday is a very busy day. We start by meeting our Ecuadorian attorney to discuss visa options and our status in obtaining necessary paperwork. She is very informative and we map out next steps.
Museo Remigio Crespo Toral is less than two blocks away, so off we go! We have been in the museum many years ago, but it has been restored further and the collection expanded. It only takes 30 minutes to leisurely walk through the museum - it’s enjoyable as a “bite” of history.
It’s close to lunch time and we’re hungry. Capitan restaurant is six blocks away, which we visited it in 2016, enjoyed, and heard that it is even better now. The doors to the restaurant are closed, but after I pull on the right door the chef’s wife comes and explains that they are cash only. Fine with us; we anticipate that 50% or more of the businesses in Cuenca operate solely on a cash basis. We order our beverages and entrees and sit back. Some delicious garlic bread is delivered and a while later our beverages. We sit and talk, we sit some more and talk, we smile as we overhear the conversation of a young family who recently relocated to Cuenca from the US with a two-year old. We talk yet some more, eventually quietly discussing the necessary time commitment of dining out in Ecuador. Our meals arrive and are beautifully presented. They taste even better. William has about a pound of shrimp with a modest amount of linguine and mushrooms in a light sauce. I have at least eight ounces of Corvina with garlic and six shrimp accompanied by a dollop of mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley. The food is worth the wait. Total bill with two glasses of wine and sparkling water is less than $50 - wonderful! We will return in the future.
Saturday we spend the late morning and afternoon meandering around the city. We start with a taxi ride up into El Centro. We enjoy Parque San Sebastián where William discusses purchasing and trading 1/10th ounce gold coins with a fellow expat. I start to get a little hungry, so we walk toward Parque Calderòn and stop at Le Bistro Café for a crepe and some coffee. After the leisurely snack we stop at a cheese shop and then start the walk toward our Airbnb. Along the way we pause at a bench to enjoy the Tomebamba river. There are families and friends dotting the park along the riverbank, and everyone seems to be enjoying the beautiful day.
On Sunday afternoon William decides that it is time for him to attempt an uphill walk into El Centro. He maps out a path that takes us up a ~30 step staircase and then an uphill street for four to five blocks. He stops and rests a few times along the way but feels okay. At the top we stop at Cafe de Museo for a coffee and a glass of wine, then we go downhill out the “back door” to the park along the river for our walk home. Yay! - such a big difference from four weeks ago when we arrived in Cuenca.