Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Uhzupud, Paute, Biblian

Our friends Jim and Angie Barnes are always ready to go on another adventure.  We're really going to miss having them take us on their mini-odysseys around Azuay.   Our adventure on Saturday was the Iglesia de Biblian, a hike up a mini-mountain, and a wonderful meal at the Uhzupud resort in Paute.  
The pictures above and below really doesn't give justice to the visceral response we had when looking over the sheer edge of the cliff we were on.  Two thousand free fall feet below were the villages of Biblian and Paute.  One difference between Ecuador and North America is the lack of safety measures along hiking trails.  There are no guard rails or warnings. You're just supposed to have a little common sense.  One little sllip and you are an instant goner, common sense or not.  Anyway, the view was spectacular even with a little drizzle.

Next stop was Iglesia de Biblian, a unique church built into the face of a cliff.  It was a day of climbing trails along sheer cliffs and hundreds of steps up to to an ancient sanctuary.  The picture below shows the church and the mini-mountain we were climbing right and center.

Actually it wasn't that ancient, circa 1895.  I will say however that it was a bit of an engineering marvel to construct this place of worship in such a precarious foundation. 

In the picture above you can see the wall of the iglesia merging with the vertical wall of the cliff.

Inside the sanctuary you are reminded that you are in a building clinging to the face of a cliff.  The raw face of rock forms the backdrop to the alter.

I'm not sure this church would pass the standards of access for the disabled in the United States.  None the less we saw 85 year old women holding vigil in the sanctuary.  The human spirit is an amazing thing, especially when guided by The Spirit.

Ecuador is a developing country, so when you find a little oasis of opulence you are at first taken aback by the stark contrast to everyday living here.  The resort of Uhzupud is such an oasis.      http://www.uzhupud.com/espanol.html    As a rule hostels, hosterias, and hotels typically don't have such things as a heated swimming pool, tennis courts, volley ball courts, outdoor table tennis, stables, and waiters in white jackets.  Uhzupud has it all and their food was delicious.  People more or less have to know how to find it however. Your regular tourist passing through Cuenca would never hear about it or find it.  You have to be here for a while and then you hear rumors of Shangri La in Paute.  Even then you might find a bridge out and have to get creative about how you get there.  Then again, Jim Barnes is a creative driver and missing bridges are merely an invitation to another adventure.  I'm sorry I didn't get pictures, but use your imagination.

I even got to go for a little ride on one of their mounts.  To be honest, any day I'm on a horse is a very good day indeed.  Thank you Jim and Angie Barnes for a delightful day together.  We will miss you so much and are looking forward to your coming to see us in Cotacachi.  I'm pretty sure we'll have plenty of fodder for new adventures when you get there!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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