We finally made our trip up to volcano country near the Columbian border. A change of scenery is just what we needed but still, it was good to return to Cuenca after ten days. We absolutely loved the half hour flight on Latam Airlines. Much preferable to an eight hour bus trip! Bruce booked us first class which wasn’t much more than standard, so we were in the front row seats as far away from potential covid contamination as possible. Everyone was required to wear a mask, but surprisingly, no mention of vaccinations or covid tests.
Our first stop was Quito, the capital city. We took a taxi from the airport which is quite a distance from the city. Excellent highway! Our hotel was located in a part of the city called NewTown. What a sight to look up and see skyscraper apartment buildings sitting right along the edge of the cliff. Bruce commented that it looked like the city of Oz. So sorry not to have a photo!! We stayed three nights at a boutique hotel which had a very nice restaurant. There were also some trendy places to eat in the immediate neighborhood and interesting neighborhoods to explore.

This is the view from our terrace. Quito is a city of close to two million people. As you can see, the terrain is very rugged. I think these folks must keep in terrific shape walking up and down these hills.
We spent most of our three days in this neighborhood. Soooooo many
tall apartment buildings.
Our terrace from my perch on the couch
And in the early morning
Again from our terrace…….a close up of the convent
Bruce bought a padlock and inscribed our initials to join all the others in a small park near our hotel.
We took a taxi to visit Old Town one afternoon and got caught in a thunderstorm.
A close up of one of the hundreds of churches which are ornately decorated inside. Quite a contrast to the many poor people living in the neighborhood just scraping by day to day.
One of the iconic images of Quito is an angel watching over the city from a distant mountaintop
As we say goodbye to Quito on the last day, the volcano Chimborazo came out from behind the clouds

Our hotel concierge helped us to arrange a taxi ride to the town of Cotacachi two hours north of Quito. I wanted to visit this town that has around five hundred expats living there who think it is a paradise. For this reason it was one of the places we considered as a possibility before moving to Ecuador. We spent six nights at a luxury resort so we had plenty of time to explore the town and surrounding areas. Unfortunately because of Covid, the hotel did not offer some of the activities that we expected from the brochure, such as bike riding, condor watching and horseback riding.

However, they had a first class restaurant where we ate two of the six nights. Otherwise we walked into town and sampled some of the less expensive restaurants and cafes.
The hotel/resort had twenty four apartments that were supposedly decorated in the style of Louis the Fourteenth……not my favorite, but a version of opulence I guess. Certainly our rooms were spacious and comfortable.

We never used the television😊
Not sure how this ceiling works with Louis Fourteenth but I like it
Nice big bathroom
And a big shower with ceiling view of flowering trees
They offered to start a fire for us each night but we arranged to start our own fire in the mornings.
Our terrace….watch out for that hot sun!
We reserved the pool for our exclusive use every day at three. After laps, I spent the rest of my time in the jaccuzi. Bruce was much more disciplined.
We fooled around a bit on the court. Neither one of us is a tennis player😬 but fun and good exercise.
We had a complementary breakfast every morning in the breakfast room. Coffee, tea, and cocoa…..a large plate of fresh fruit…..croissants and cheese……choice of eggs ……bacon or ham…..and cake! Same menu every morning for six days.
Bruce sent me this cartoon… wasn’t continental breakfast but six days in a row🥴 No really, it was lovely😊
Outside the breakfast building
The best one is looking into the pool room.
There were eight or nine peacocks on the property
Including this albino!
Some of you have been asking for an example of my artwork…….so……this is my acrylic painting of a peacock.
This was our dinner table both nights that we ate at the restaurant
A view of the dining area from the lawn
One day we visited a nearby lake called Cuicocha……so called because the two small islands are supposed to resemble cui, or Guinea pigs, which are a delicacy here. Yum…….We haven’t tried them😳

We took a small hike near the lake….this is a view of the country side.
Another volcano viewed from Cotacachi
Bruce took no photos of the indigenous people who make up most of the population of Cotacachi. It just seemed too intrusive. However, I grabbed a couple photos from the internet to show you how handsome they are!
And the children♥️
This is Andres, our wonderful driver who drove us safely to Cotacachi from Quito and then picked us up six days later and took us to our airport hotel near Quito. Andrés, you’re the best!!
The airport hotel was a very busy place! While we were there the Ecuadorian Olympic Champions were interviewed by television crews and the president of Ecuador came for a conference. So there was plenty of police presence as well.

We were ready to get back to our lovely life in Cuenca at the end of ten days. We will continue exploring other areas of the country until the time when international travel becomes a possibility again. We have two more trips lined up….Vilcabamba September 23 through 27. Another lovely resort near the Peruvian border, but this time, decorated in a style that we love. We spent a few days there two years ago. Photos will be forthcoming. And we go back to the ocean at the end of November, but this time we visit Salinas, a larger town that is the vacation spot for Cuencanos during their holidays…..of which there are MANY.

So until next time, take care and enjoy the rest of your summer!


7 thoughts on “RETURN FROM THE NORTH

  1. We love getting your posts, a highlight of our summer. We have been very comfortable in MI for a month, getting ready to go back to hot AZ soon. Cheers, Patsy and Doug


  2. Hey Sharon, great post about your vacation❣️ Any of those pictures could make a beautiful painting, like the peacock you masterfully painted👩‍🎨 overnight didn’t cool down enough to bring down our inside temp w/ windows wide open, even though it’s a lot cooler inside than outside. Just can’t take this heat anymore. That’s it, I’m starting the AC! Yes, we still have the smoke from Canada, eastern Wa, take your pick, very hazy, unhealthy they’re reporting, but don’t smell it as much as you can see it. Well, I think the flowers are ok w/ this heat as long as they get watered. We could surely use a good 🌧🌧🌧Here are some new faces;This hydrangea flower must be a foot long. Hate to top water it for fear it will get too heavy and snap.We succeeded in having this fuchsia over winter👏👏👏Ali’s mom bought this bright beauty for me. Last, but not least the very fragrant lily sisters, ha,ha! They look like they are having fun! Thanks for lending me your time strolling threw the garden w/ me. Love, K >


    • Wow….hot again?? Good thing you have that aircon! If you included photos in your text they didn’t come through in this format. I would love to see them so maybe send by email??


  3. Thank you for your post mom… Ecuador looks beautiful! I am so looking forward to the day when we can visit. Geez… you are one spunky looking tennis player. 😃❤️ Give Bruce a big hug from me. Miss you both so much!


  4. So glad you’re loving Ecuador and its surroundings. We also stayed at La Mirage and thoroughly enjoyed it! Washington has been wonderful. Right now Jason, Shaina and their year and a half son are visiting. Everyone has visited and enjoyed themselves. The covid numbers are rising which is disturbing. How are they in Ecuador? Stay safe and keep on enjoying yourselves. We miss you. Beth & Cappy


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