Day 2 of tour - afternoon
Upon leaving the Cotopaxi National Park, Gabriel had given us a choice by asking what kind of restaurant we wanted to have lunch at! If we wanted to go to a fast food kind of restaurant or have lunch at a Hacienda! Knowing quite well what a Hacienda was having eaten at one of them three years ago when touring the Sacred Valley in Peru, without any hesitations, Hacienda was quickly replied!
A side road was taken which brought us directly to the Hacienda's huge enclosed property. Its high stoned fence immediately captured my imagination by giving the place charm and history. Once driving through the open gate, gigantic trees lined on each side of the road led us directly to a stunningly colonial structure located way at the end of it. The "Hosteria la Cienga", a 300 years old structure in a town called Lasso stood quite amazingly.
Upon entering the hotel, the entire waiting staff welcomed us in and allowed us to wander freely inside the hotel and visit the beautifully manicured grounds! The place had a gothic charm to it and I felt quite at home. I later learned that the Hacienda’s family-owners dated back to Ecuador’s Spanish colonial times! Interesting fact!
After finally settling down at a lovely table, I was immediately pampered by the waiters with their friendliness and helpfulness. Since we had invited our guide and driver to eat with us, their meals were on us! Michel went on ordering steak, same as Michel for the other two guys and for me, I ordered pasta and soup. The food was quite fresh and delicious.
During lunch, a group of local musicians played soft Andes ballads with their flutes and guitars. It made the entire place feel quite Ecuadorian! I even joined in pretending to play one of their instruments, this of course, after buying one of their CD’s!
Well, this antique Hacienda located right in the heart of the Ecuadorian Andes was quite a place to have lunch at. It was definitely one of a kind of place and I was glad I came……even though the meal for the four of us cost me a bundle! Ha, ha, ha!Monique :-)