Ceramics, textiles and lots of wine

Added 20 Nov 2014

Arts and crafts this morning. Our first visit is the IKAT weaving workshop near Gualaceo run by the Jimenez family. IKAT weaving is based upon a tie-dye technique where threads are coloured before weaving an intricate pattern using a back strap loom. Plants and minerals found in the garden or collected nearby create the colours used to dye the wool and silk. Returning to Cuenca we visit Eduardo Vega's ceramics gallery. Mr Vega is a world-renowned ceramics artist and we are fortunate to find him at his studio. By the time we conclude our textiles and ceramics visits we have definitely contributed to the local economy. Our coach is full of bags and boxes!

From the Vega Gallery we walk a few metres up Turi Hill to enjoy a wonderful view over the city of Cuenca. We are again lucky with the weather, and the city looks magnificent below the blue skies and sun.

Cuenca's airport is not far from the centre of town and surrounded by houses and buildings as the city has expanded over recent years. We can see the runway clearly and decide to watch for an aircraft landing. We check with the airport and, yes, there is a plane due in 10 minutes. We wait. Nothing, We check with the airport again. Another 5 to 10 minutes. Nothing. Richard offers a bottle of wine for the first person to spot an aircraft approaching. Even this incentive doesn't produce results. We give up and drive down the hill.

We dine tonight at a restaurant called Villa Rosa. Despite the lack of aircraft earlier in the day, the wine this evening turns out to be complimentary. All 23 bottles!