Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
300Trip End Nov 04, 2008
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Its 1.5 hours away from Loja (US $1 by bus) and we soon found out why it is so popular with "gringos". Apparently it doesnt rain more than 150 days per year, and the temperature does not go below 18 or above 30 degrees celcius all year round.
The locals here have good statistics for reaching "old age" (of 100 and above) which they say is due to "temperature, natural water resources and good food". There is certainly plenty of fruit around the place.
As we have skipped Galapagos we decided to invest in a nice hotel with swimming pool, garden, etc so we could rest for a few days before travelling again. However we failed misereably!
The place is called "Las Ruinas de Quinara". The only downside is that the owner / manager is Fawlty Towers mad and the staff have never known the concept of smiling. But who cares... Apparently the hotel used to be very successful and on all the guides, but the owner had a car accident and was in a coma for 6 months. Since then it declined. Apparently also its on the market for USD $ 550,000...a deal.
There is also an issue with the jacuzzi, which all the locals come to enjoy on weekends and over indulge with the cheap alcohol on sale at the pool bar. The problem is that the owner has added herbs to the water and it basically looks like a huge tea pot (without milk) and lots of froth...not inviting.
So we have done lots of swimming and reading by the pool and enjoyed the film "Ray" (Ray Charles).