A short bus ride away from Cuenca are three very interesting towns, Bulcay, Gualaceo, and Chordeleg. In the first we visited Maria Ulloa, a celebrity in the world of Ikat weaving of Ecuador. This tye-dyed yarn process is done with natural dyes then woven into shawls, ponchos, and table runners on a backstrap loom. Shortly before Gualaceo we stopped at Ecuagenera, the orchid propogation facility. Finally, after a delicious $2 lunch of roasted pork sliced hot off the pig in the city market of Gualaceo and a walk around the outdoor produce stalls, we took a bus to Chordeleg. This town is known for an unbelievable number of jewelry stores featuring both gold and silver items. Truly a shopper's delight.