Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hosteria La Cienega

After our exertions on Cotopaxi, we were all hungry and ready for a break.  
It took awhile to drive back down all the bumpy dirt roads since we'd been up near the refugio on Cotopaxi, but once we turned back onto the Pan-American Highway, it was a short ride to the place we'd be lunching: Hosteria La Cienega.

Beautiful sight: the driveway is lined with eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus aren't native to Ecuador, but we saw various kinds
of eucalyptus trees all over the place.

This symbol repeated on the backs of the dining room chairs.

Hosteria La Cienega

Eucalyptus trees

Mr. Hunter rests on some eucalyptus leaves.

Naranjilla juice --
and a naranjilla fruit beside the glass

We all ordered soups.  I had vegetable soup.
And there's some more salsa de aji in the middle.

At Hosteria La Cienega,
they served a big bowl of popcorn to go with our soups!
It was tasty.  This is our guide's bowl of ceviche.

After our late lunch, we walked around the grounds of La Cienega, 
which is a hotel as well as a restaurant.  We stepped into the chapel, wandered around the gardens, and even got to look into one of the hotel rooms.

Mr. Hunter and one of the carved chapel doors.

The chapel

Mr. H liked the papery bark on this tree.

The bust of Mr. Hunter
poses with a bust of explorer and naturalist, Alexander von Humboldt.
Von Humboldt slept at La Cienega in 1802.

This couch in one of the sitting rooms
 reminded me of one of my favorite picture books:
Spectacles, by Ellen Raskin.
More on that in a separate post.

Our guide pretended that he was going to add Mr. Hunter to the fire!
I should point out that we saw a number of guests hanging out in different sitting rooms,
and more than one of them mentioned that they were COLD.
(Haciendas can be chilly -- hence the need for fireplaces and stoves.)

Hosteria La Cienega
Cotopaxi Province
June 2011

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