|We arrived in Cuenca just before 7am expecting to find children on their way to school and bustling street vendors, but instead arrived at a ghost town. Thankfully, the taxi drivers were still around during Carnival because we didn’t fancy lugging our suitcases any great distance after a night of little sleep. We got to our hostel just after 7am and fell asleep on the outdoor sofa (check-in time wasn’t until 1pm) until we were kindly offered the bed in the office to nap in. During this time we met a friendly Canadian couple, Monica and Marty, who told us about a nice hostel in Vilcabamba that they were going to at the weekend. We hoped we’d see them later on, but they said they were moving to a cheaper hostel later that day. At 1pm we checked in to our room, which was like a little woodland cabin next to the garden, then went in search of food. Hardly anywhere was open on account of it being Carnival so we ended up paying over the odds for some spaghetti, but were glad to have found any food at all. The illusion of the city being deserted was very short-lived as we got pelted with water balloons on the way home. Needless to say, we didn’t bother venturing out for dinner.