Saturday in Ecuador
After breakfast we headed up to a spot high above Quito for a beautiful photo op and more history from Romy. Quito has 70 active volcanos and every single day there are between 17 to over 200 tremors of which mostly are under 4 on the rector scale. If you happen to live on the third floor or higher of a building you will have more opportunities to feel the tremors. This city, containing 2 million people, realize that there is a possibility of a volcanic eruption at any time but they don’t dwell on this issue according to our guide.
Next stop was in a neighboring small town along the highway at a sorbet factory. We were each treated to two scoops of our choice and then the young man did a demonstration of making the sorbet. He filled a large shallow metal container with ice and salt and then placed a beautiful rather flat copper pan on top of the ice. He poured a thick fruit purée in the copper pan and then started beating the purée while twirling the copper pan in the opposite direction. Very quickly the fruit started to congeal and presto we were tasting a fresh batch of sorbet. Que yummo!!
Onward to the equator and The Center of the world. We had a good time doing photo ops.
About an hour down the road we went to a women’s cooperative to have lunch. The options were spit roasted cuy (guinea pig) or chicken soup and the lunch choices were pre ordered so lunch was ready when we all arrived. The two of us vegetarians had potatoes with a peanut sauce and avocado for our plate which was very tasty.
After lunch we stopped at the home of a musical family that has international acclaim and when not performing make Andean instruments. We were treated to a demonstration of all the different So American instruments and then the family performed a song from their CD. Great stop.
Onward to the afternoon hike up to a beautiful waterfall before we headed to our hotel, Cabanos del Lago, which turned out to be a paradise on the edge of a lake surrounded by volcanos. We arrived about 5:00pm and after checking out our beautiful cabana we headed for the bar for a little libation. We sat outside on the deck over the water and enjoyed a glass of wine and the brought us some plantain chips, their delicious Ecuadorian salsa and some guacamole to enjoy with our beverage. Shortly a few other couples joined us on the deck. In about 15 minutes a bit of thunder started to rumble and we then noticed the lightening over the mountains. Shortly it began to rain lightly and little by little the rain came down heavier and the winds picked up and even under cover we were getting wet so we all snuggled closer to the building and all enjoyed what was by now a torrential downpour. Pachi Mama at her finest!!! We finally came to our senses and moved into the bar to a air dinner at 7:00pm.
The dinner starter was either potato soup which comes with chunks of cheese and avocado or pumpkin soup (we did one of each and both were yummy) and choices for entree were steak with a baked potato or rainbow trout and the vegetarian option was called a risotto type option made with quinoa and vegetables in a creamy cheesy sauce that was devine. Wayne had the steak and said it was really good.
After a great dinner and conversation we moseyed back to our room as the rain had stopped. We were greeted by a rip roaring fire in our fireplace and snuggled together, in our turned down bed, it looked like a male and female doll which turned out to be hot water bottles dressed to look like a man and a woman. What a great thoughtful touch. I couldn’t believe it but they were still warm in the morning. One quick night here was just not enough. I also have to mention the grounds around the lovely cabanas were beautifully manicured with a man made creek meandering thru out with little foot bridges and a waterfall. Flowers were everywhere and so were the hummingbirds. This truly was a paradise and everyone did not want to leave!!!
A note from along the way:
As a side note while on the newly (this week) reopened Pan American highway which had been closed due to the last earthquake about two and a half months ago which did a lot of damage to this road.
Construction was occurring all over the hillside and just now as we were driving by a cliff that was being excavated we viewed a landslide occurring. It was close to the road and our bus was just ahead of the major dust cloud that occurred which had to have covered the vehicles behind us with dirt.