Cuenca the colonial jewel (Drive Day 150: November 26th, 2003)

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The first thing the Spaniards did when they “founded” this city was start building its cathedral and even the admin buildings date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. No wonder it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. We’re here for the hats, however.

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Panama Canal workers may have coined the phrase “Panama Hat” but the distinctive toppers are actually made here. In fabulous workshops with materials from the lowlands, ready to customize at, well, the drop of a hat.

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Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa.

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