Thursday, Jul 7, 2016
We ventured to the Feria Libre Mercado yesterday which is the biggest “open air” market in Cuenca. We entered from the south side where all the clothing vendors were set up…100’s of them. Merchants selling pants, shirts, shoes, underwear, jackets, purses, bags, and baubles. It was overwhelming to me.
The aisles were packed with people who were shopping for their wanted items. I was trying to figure out how anyone tried something on to see if it fit. I noticed in a couple of booths there was a makeshift changing room consisting of a round metal ring with a blanket attached to it. I guess you could step inside, and try on pants.
We zigged and zagged through this maze of clothing, passed people cooking almuerzos, then passing the meat area with chickens, slabs of beef, and other meats sitting on counters and hanging from ceilings, until we reached the fruits and vegetable area. This area was much less chaotic to me and certainly smelled better.
We bought tomatoes, oranges, pineapples, bananas, apples, limes, and yucca. We bought some items from one vendor, then ventured to others and bought from them. At all the vendors we would ask the price of this or that to get an idea of what things cost here. It was a good opportunity for us to see who was friendly, who had the best prices.
I really enjoy the buying fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market. It is an opportunity to pick out what I want and to practice my Spanish while I do it. Feria Libre is a 25 minute walk from our house so we get to enjoy some exercise as well. The sun was out too…added bonus.
Today we met Annette and Greg for lunch and they showed us a new place that served great sanduches (sandwiches). There is never a shortage of places to eat in Cuenca. This place is called San Duche-Cafe and it’s run by a very sweet Argentinian woman. Chicken, beef, BBQ pork, or Eggplant sandwiches are just a few to choose from. Each one is delicious.
Heidi got a video of this woman singing and playing on the street in El Centro to earn money for her and her daughter.