I had a lovely evening in Cuenca. I first met with two couples at 6:30 p.m. at a restaurant called El Tiestos which was eight blocks from a singles event I was scheduled to attend at 7:00 p.m. The conversation and people were so delightful I did not leave until almost 8:00 p.m. The singles event was at Cafe Eucalyptus where I met even more interesting people so I left there around 9:15 p.m. in a cab to the bus station feeling elated over new acquaintances. This being a weekend, I boarded the bus to Macas as buses which terminate in Paute do not run that late. The bus to Macas skirts through Paute and I have done that several times in the past.
The trip from Cuenca to Paute takes around an hour and fifteen minutes. I read for around twenty minutes and felt a little tired so I leaned the seat back ignoring the protesting thumps from behind. I was tired, damn it, and my seat mate was doing the same and I'm old so I felt entitled. I did feel quite drowsy so I dozed off in what I thought was a bit of twilight sleep.
At one point, I awoke to feel the bus stopped and noticed the bus driver slipping off to an open tienda to buy snacks and drinks and wondered what town we were in. As we started again, I noticed some familiar architecture of apartments that rounded the corner and felt we were getting close. Then, I saw lights off in a distance that seemed much too far downhill. I had never noticed anything like that on any previous trip so I got up to ask the driver how far it was to Paute. They told me we had passed Paute around eight kilometers back. PANIC! They instructed me to come forward and sit on a seat in the front.
We drove an incredibly long time through darkness. They assured me there would be a bus coming back to Cuenca and stopped in a small town called Sevilla de Oro. They showed me where the bus bench was and I was to wait there for only about thirty minutes. I should have no problems. It was 11:50 p.m.
|Pictures or it didn't happen!|
|Lonely dark streets!|
|My park bench of over an hour|
No, if you will excuse me, I need to take a nap!