Our room The B&B Oh, boy, here we go…a 6 + hour drive through the mountains…hhmmm…sound familiar? LOL But guess what? All the way were paved roads…YES!!! Bud was especially thrilled and grateful. About 4 hours in, the sky opened up and down came blinding rain! It rained so hard we could barely see where we were going. Slow and easy was the order. It didn’t last too long though and at the first sign of sky, Bud spotted an incredible view off to our right. He pulled into a long unpaved road and parked. We got out
The ‘stuff’ under the cones is not icecream…it’s meringue…bought by the scoop! And, YES, that is a whole roasted pighanging there Spectacular displays of alpaca textiles…every color imaginable…and SO soft Fried plantain stripsand chips Fresh flowers in the marketplace…aaaah! Rita and I were up and making fresh fruit salad by the time the guys surfaced! They were up to all hours discussing…possibly…everything they had in common and then some. After an amazing breakfast, thanks to Rita, we got ready to hit the town. First, Parque Calderon, then on to do some serious souvenir shopping…alpaca, leather, wall hangings, shoes, etc.
I can remember that about an hour into the second leg of the drive to Cuenca, Bud said, “You know, I would give a lot for a decent stretch of straight road.” Well, it was another couple of hours before he saw THAT! One thing about driving in Ecuador is that you need to be on point every second. There is no regard for single solid, broken or double solid lines on the roads. If you wanted to pass the car or multiple vehicles in front of you and you thought you had a decent chance of
A quintessential street scene Look at all those bananas! Vistas along our drive Hotel courtyard Our hotel Another delightful view Breakfast everywhere always includedbeautifully displayed fresh fruit. Then,the eggs, ham, potatoes, etc. were served Yummy dinner We were not sure where on route to Cuenca we were going to stay the night. After more roads of crazy bumps and rocks and holes and dirt and winding roads, we noticed that we had cell service…YIPPEE!!! Time to stop and check places to hang out for the night. Bud found what appeared to be a really nice hotel, so we plugged
Hotel La Floresta A Banos street The basilica Great view of clothes on the lineand the Andes in the background…typical sight Cool little roadside tents More amazing falls Winding mountain road Fun tunnel Another roadside stand…I loved them! On the road to Banos, Bud and I stopped to stretch our legs. While I was buying fruit and water for us and candy for the kids along the way, Bud met an elderly man who played an 8 and 16 string guitar and sang for him. (Our pics didn’t turn out) Bud came for me so I could share
Our cabania…loving that hammock!!! One of many exotic plants… looks like apple peels Chef David and his side kick…and me! There were two of these structures over looking the Rio Napo…wonderful space Bamboo tree One of David’s delectable dishes The restaurant A view spotted by Bud while driving…gorgeous! Where we stopped just to listen Everything grows in Ecuador like they are on steroids!!! Another delicious Ecuadorian meal In hindsight, this may have been one of my favorite stops! A jungle town in the depths of the Amazon rainforest! How extraordinarily gorgeous! The grounds of the Rio
Here I go! View at 9,350′ at night Same view in the morning It took a couple of days for me before it truly sank in that we were in South America! The flights were relatively uneventful…just a tad cramped. We arrived in Quito, the capital, about 11:15 PM on Monday night, grabbed a cab and headed for our only pre-planned overnight accommodations for the next 2 weeks! Oh, yeah! The adventure had begun! Our hotel, Fentenal de Bellevista, at 9,350′ above sea level, offered quite the view even in the fog. The clear morning sky allowed for