We’ve learned something important: if a plan doesn’t work exactly as hoped, then be ready to quickly adapt. The wonder is that often we are quite happy (or happier!) with the new plan.
We’d read about the largest park in Cuenca, Parque El Paraiso, a scenic 40-minute walk down the Tomebamba River from our place. It may be the best place in Cuenca to spot birds. On Saturday morning the skies were overcast, but, never mind, we could hardly wait to see the park and watch all the birds.
Lots of birds were somewhere up in trees but how would we ever find them? Be patient, we told ourselves. We watched and waited. Oh, we saw so little in those trees, except the trees themselves. We had to admit we were defeated. Birdwatching wasn’t going to happen today.
First, the park turned out to be much more interesting than we’d expected. The perfect place to turn from birding to photography!
Second, what were Eucalyptus trees doing in South America? We think of them as primarily an Australian tree, though we have seen them in many other countries around the world. Turns out that the earliest fossils of Eucalyptus were found in South America, dating back to an age before the continents split. Over time, they died out in South America, and made their way back when reintroduced from Australia.
We saw only a few birds, but the landscape, trees, plants, and rivers were more than enough to make up for that disappointment.
We walked on the path by the river and stopped at the Belgian Waffle stand at the edge of another park, Pumapungo. We sat on high stools at the counter under the covered stand and chatted with the affable owner. Just after we ordered, the skies opened up and sheets of driving rain poured down around us, rattling the corrugated roof just over our heads.
How lucky to have seen the beautiful park and now to be seated under cover, happily eating our waffles. The day had not gone according to plan at all. No matter. All had turned out better than we’d expected.