Last night we convinced Martina she needed to wear a hat in Ecuador as Bill had noticed the part in her hair was allowing too much sun to redden her scalp. So it was off to the original Panama hat factory which we had visited in 2012. Unfortunately the workers were off for the day, and neither were there any guides. The museum section is well explained in Spanish and English so at least the information was there if not the work in progress. Below is a room of hats in various stages of completion along with a wedding dress and bouquet all made of the same hat material.

Then it was on to the sales room where the stylin’ took place. Martina and Phillipe walked out with new chapeaus in yet another box to lug around Ecuador.


Ready for a little refreshment we taxied to San Sebastián Park to try the Belgian microbrewery. The beer was said to be ok, but the citrus flavor overpowered the beer flavor. The food was slow to arrive. It was several minutes after the kids were served before Bill and I got our meatballs. By the time we were done Martina and Phillipe still had no food……oh, the waitress forgot their orders. They decided to forgo and look for something on the way back to the main park.

The next plan was to take a bus tour of the city with a different company than the one Bill and I had used before. The destination was the same but the route was somewhat different. This gave us more familiarity with the new section of Cuenca where we might choose to spend a long period of time next year.

Before the tour we had time to explore the oldest church in Cuenca which charged two dollars per person. As we hadn’t done this in 2012 it gave us a chance to appreciate the architecture inside.

Before ending the day with dinner we accompanied the Capels to an outdoor market where they had seen ponchos for children. They were able to get some shopping done for folks back in Europe by purchasing from a woman from Otovalo.