Good nights sleep.

I have a smoothie at what turns out to be a “knockoff” juice bar called “Live Organico”. Good smoothie.

I am interested in eating at “Nectar”. A vegetarian restaurant that only opens from noon until 3 pm. So I wander around.

Nectar Vegetarian Restaurant, Cuenca, Ecuador – Open noon – 3 pm

Leon, the taxi driver who speaks English, arrives at 11:30 am to take me to the Ministry of External Affairs office. I wait about 30 minutes and receive some papers to take to the Central Bank of Ecuador office.

We’re almost there when I realize that I left my passport in the photocopy shop. We drive back and fortunately it’s still there.

Back to the bank. Well the bank won’t be ready to process my document until tomorrow. Good thing because the ministry clerk forgot to give me the CD. We go back to the ministry office and pick up the CD.

The taxi driver and I go to a steak house he recommends. We both order a 1 lb steak which comes with two full sized potatoes. The waiter had recommended the 2 lb steak. The steak is good but got cold before I got finished. I did eat it all but left 1 potato.

I drop off my stuff and walk to a place that’s like a Starbucks called Coffeetree where foreigners congregate.

Coffeetree Cuenca, Ecuador

I go looking for Thomas who is a block away where Carmen the jewelry maker from Vilcabamba is selling her jewelry.

I hang out with Carmen and her two children after Thomas leaves. Carmen is finding it very difficult to be traveling and raising her kids on very little income. We enjoy each others company and I offer some suggestions to stay connected with her son and daughter. We walk a few blocks and I give her son Diego a piggyback ride most of the way. He gives me a hug when we all part ways.

I meet up with Thomas at Eucalyptus restaurant again. I share a dip platter with him and I have a soup. I am back at the hotel by 10 pm.