Today, we went shoe shopping in Cuenca Ecuador, and as a reward for my extreme patience, we went to Inca Lounge for cervezas on our way home. We also stumbled upon some improv dueling rappers in Parque de la Madre. You just never know what you’re going to see while walking around Cuenca!
People & Places
Graffiti Art in Cuenca Ecuador
Graffiti is a common sight here in Cuenca, Ecuador. Some of it is even commissioned, like this one on Ave. Solano. This wall had a lot of unsightly graffiti so some professional graffiti artists were hired to cover it with something more appealing. This also helps to prevent future graffiti since they seem to respect each other’s work.
Bike Lanes & Sidewalk Tiles for the Blind
Cuenca has lots of bike lanes, and more are being added all over the city. Their hope is to make the city more bicycle friendly so people ride to work and school for both improved health and environmental friendliness.
The tiles that make a line down the center of the sidewalk are for blind people. They use their walking sticks with the tiles to stay oriented on the sidewalk. These tiles are used all over the city.
The Shoe Store That Shall Not Be Named
This is one of Amelia’s favorite places to go shoe shopping in Cuenca Ecuador, but as far as we know, it doesn’t have a name. It’s located on Benigno Malo a couple blocks north of Calle Larga. This was one of the first stores we stumbled upon during our first exploratory trip to Cuenca.
Amelia in Shoe Heaven
Amelia swears she doesn’t have a shoe addiction, but isn’t that what all addicts say? ?
Today, she was on a mission to find some tall boots. We see a lot of women wearing tall boots in Cuenca, and we like how they look, so Amelia wanted a pair of her own. This was the start of a lot of shoe trying on….
Moving On to Emily Shoes
We struck out at the unnamed shoe store, so we ventured onward to Emily Shoes a couple blocks away. After trying on what seemed like every shoe in the store, Amelia finally struck gold. She found a pair of tall boots that she liked (not these), and also a new pair of low boots (or high shoes?). The boots were $34 and the shoes were $28; both made of synthetic materials.
Victory at Emily Shoes
Shoe shopping in Cuenca Ecuador was as success today. This store does have a name, but no online presence that we can link to. It’s common, especially for the older businesses in El Centro, to not have a website or even a Facebook page. Most of the new businesses outside El Centro at least have a Facebook page, but most businesses in Ecuador have not branched out to a website yet.
Folding Fans for Hot Flashes
Like her mother, Amelia is experiencing hot flashes a little younger than most women (she just turned 50). That means she’s often burning with the fiery heat of a thousand suns. Hopefully, these $2 folding fans will help.
Gringo’s Laundry in Cuenca El Centro
There are over 10,000 gringos in Cuenca, Ecuador. That means a lot of businesses, like this laundry service, target them directly.
A lot of apartments, especially in El Centro, don’t have a washer and dryer so residents must find another way to do their laundry. While we have seen laundromats, it only costs about $3 to $4 per load to pay someone to do it for you. They wash, dry and fold your laundry so you can enjoy your time doing other things. Plus, it helps the economy by supporting local businesses.
Inca Lounge & Bistro
I don’t really think of Inca as a bistro, but it certainly has the lounge vibe. It’s located on the riverwalk next to Río Tomebamba just east of Benigno Malo.
Inca is popular with the gringos during the day, but it’s mainly an Ecuadorian hangout after dark. That’s probably because Ecuadorians like to start their evening late after most of the gringos are already in bed.
Amelia Modeling a Club Verde
Club Verde is my favorite domestic light beer in Ecuador. It’s very crisp and refreshing, and cheap. This giant bottle costs $2.50 at Inca.
It’s actually called Club Premium, but most of the restaurants list it as Club Verde on their menus. The brewer also has a Club Negra (dark beer) that Amelia prefers over the Club Verde, and a Club Roja that we’ve never tried.
Our good friend Rosy from Fratello Vegan wrote the the company and confirmed that all of the Club beers are vegan. They don’t use any animal products in their brewing process. Yay!
Dave at Inca
Dave is a gringo that manages Inca. He’s almost always there. Tell him JP and Amelia said hi if you go there.
Chips & Guac (and Salsa) at Inca Lounge
Inca has really good chips, guac and salsa. We like to go their for a mid-afternoon snack and cervezas on our way home after we’ve been out walking around El Centro. We usually have to order extra chips if we get both the guac and the salsa.
Inca Vegetarian Menu
Most restaurants have a vegetarian (vegetariano) section on their menu, and most items are either vegan already, or can easily be veganized by asking them to skip the congealed mammal fluids (aka cheese and sour cream, aka queso y crema).
Inca’s Veggie Stir Fry is vegan, and the other vegetarian items can be veganized. They also have a vegetarian burrito that can be veganized. We’ve tried several things on the menu and they were all tasty. Be sure to remind them to skip the queso y crema.
Helado Balancing Act
Helado (ice cream) is very popular in Ecuador. We frequently see people walking down the street eating an ice cream cone, which may partly be to blame for the rising health epidemic of obesity, heart disease and diabetes here. Ice cream is loaded with sugar AND fat, both contributors to the increase in poor health around the world.
However, seeing these women walk down the sidewalk with their trays of ice cream balanced on their heads was worth of a share. People are amazing.
Improv Dueling Rap in Parque de la Madre
You never know what you’re going to stumble across while walking around Cuenca. Today, we passed by some improv dueling rappers by the planetarium in Parque de la Madre. You can listen to a short segment in the video. This is such an interesting place!
See More: Cuenca Parks
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We hope you enjoyed our shoe shopping in Cuenca Ecuador adventure, snacks and cervezas as Inca Lounge and our surprise improv rap here in Cuenca, Ecuador today. Please remember to like, comment and share our video, and also subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’d like us to make a video about something specific or if you have questions, please let us know in the comments.
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Spanish Words & Phrases
¡Que linda! – How cute!
afuera – outside
vegetariano – vegetarian
vegano – vegan (a lot of people, both gringo and Ecuadorian, don’t know what this is)
el queso – the cheese
la crema – the cream (also sour cream)
el helado – the ice cream
Está lleno de la gente – It is full of people
Estamos muy relajado – We are very relaxed
las cervezas – the beers
¿Qué más? – What else?