Ikat Weaving and Hosteria Uzhupud
Our first visit this morning is to the Jimenez workshop. Jose Jimenez and his family are leading exponents of IKAT weaving, a technique using hand looms to create wool cloth for garments. The cloths feature intricate patterns with Inca and Canari figures as well a roses, butterflies, flowers and birds. Charcoal, fruits, soil and plants are used as dye for the vibrant colours.
Following an interesting visit (including one or two purchases!), we drive on to the town of Gualaceo. Here, with our guide Santiago, we visit the town church and stroll around the local open market to see close up the variety of foodstuffs, fruit, vegetables and other goods on offer. Richard buys some fresh pineapple and we cut this up for a thirst quenching snack. During our free time many guests try to capture (via digital camera!) the hummingbirds in the central gardens of the main square. This is challenging!
From Gualaceo we drive a short distance to Hosteria Uzhupud for lunch. Our dining tables are set on the veranda overlooking pretty gardens and we're served a tasty menu including mushroom soup and a chicken main course. To follow, Santiago presents a "dessert show" with fruits we just purchased at the market. No one goes hungry! After lunch we stroll the gardens and courtyards, and generally fall in love with Hosteria Uzhupud. In fact it is quite difficult to extract our guests for the journey home.
This evening we dine at the Villa Rosa restaurant in Cuenca. Richard goes mad and suggests everyone dines a la carte. And the menu is extensive! What's more, plenty of nice Chilean wine is included too. As a final touch, red roses are distributed - to the ladies only!