Futbol – Estadio Cuenca

On the last night of our stay in beautiful Cuenca, Hardy, our German journalist, organized a small group of us to attend a soccer match at the Estadio. The Cuenca Tigres were playing El Nacionales from Quito. The Tigres are in last place in the five team top league and the Nacionales were the most successful. Hardy is a well known cycle writer but also writes about soccer and its place in local cultures. I was jazzed about going as I had never seen a live match. Michele, a bubbly Aussie as well as Dermit and his wife also from Australia and Wilhelm from Holland came along. I wasn’t disappointed in the game at all. Watching soccer live is much better than a match on television. The crowd is raucous, the strategy much more clear when you can see the whole field, the talent easy to appreciate and the mistakes more obvious, Ten thousand people nearly filled the stadium and they were very partisan, loudly cheering every little thing the Tigres did. They also shouted out their displeasure with any call the officials made against the home team. It was interesting to see that any time a player was tripped or interfered with he would lay there writhing in excruciating pain until the call was made, then hop back on his feet ready to go again. The Nacionales scored right before halftime and dominated the early play. In the second half the Tigres came out vigorously but couldn’t seem to get the ball into the goal. With five minutes left, we decided to get a taxi before the rest of the crowd took them all. As we were walking out a huge roar came from the crowd. The Tigres had scored a goal and tied up the match. In the taxi on the way home we heard on the radio that Cuenca had scored again with just seconds left to register the upset. Wow, to have still been in the stadium for that! I’ll try to add a photo of the game as well as one of Hardy with Michele and her Cuenca Tigres team jersey. The evening was a real hoot for us all.
On our ride the next day to Ona there were twelve cyclists riding in the truck as a wave of intestinal problems has swept through our ranks. My friends Barry and Terry from Australia, both very strong riders , were among the indisposed. I was sick myself but decided to try to get through the ride anyway. It was really tough. We had a wind in the higher elevations driving rain into your face and cool temps. My left hand got so cold I had a lot of trouble shifting gears. My head was swimming with nausea and my body with fatigue. When I rolled into Ona, they helped me with my bike and got some soup into me. I took some a couple of prescripted pills that Dave Jorde had supplied and was much better for the big ride today to Loja. We are in Loja now after the biggest ride yet, over 8900 vertical feet of climbing and 109 K’s. I couldn’t have done this ride on day 3 or day 6 but managed it today. Hardy and I pedaled most of the way together today. I had a fine Italian meal tonight with Barry, Terry, Michele and Bridget from Holland. Squeezed all five of us into a small taxi for the ride to the restaurant. Now for some well deserved sleep .

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14 thoughts on “Futbol – Estadio Cuenca

    1. Hey Buck, Sounds like you are one of the toughest (at least mentally) bikers in the group. I’m sure I would have opted for the van!!!!!!!Enjoying the blog.

      1. Thanks Jeanne – good to hear from you. I have to thank Dave Jorde because I think the pills he gave me headed off further problems. I think you would love Ecuador.

  1. Buck: We are following you every step of the way! We knew you would not take a ride in the truck no matter what befell you. You are one tenacious dude. Your writings are so descriptive, we are with you in spirit, in your joy, pain, suffering and delight. Keep the blogs coming, keep on truck in’ , the Cunninghams

  2. Buck…I’m really enjoying all of your updates. Don’t know how you find the energy to do them in addition to the riding. Hope you’re feeling better. …Sam

    1. Nice to hear from you, Sam. I’m very much an average cyclist in this group and working hard. After the next two days we will get a little break from climbing – maybe I’ll get caught back up on my energy level.

  3. What a journey! So glad technology makes it possible to follow you on your trek, keep up your health, replace those carbs! Thanks for writing this blog. JR

  4. You are amazing You are amazing. Biking with an intestinal bug and rainy, cold weather! I hope all is well now and that you have smoother biking. Love your pics! Helen Carter

    1. Thanks Helen. Love to hear from you. I couldn’t always respond to Bob’s comments as the internet can be so frustrating here. Say hi to him for me. Resting today and feeling better. Miss you both.

  5. love your descriptions Buck. What a trip you are having. Yay for you. Can’t wait to hear all the stories over a couple of bottles of South American wine 🙂

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