I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately. So I wanted something easy. Something close. And just a notch above our typical travel experience.
I came across a lovely cabin that seemed to tick all the boxes just outside of Quito. It was a little pricer than what we’d typically pay for accommodations here, but I suppose I’m worth it.
Set amidst a forest of towering eucalyptus trees, we arrived in less than an hour. The roads were the kind of rough that I knew would ensure a remote location, far from the busy streets of Cumbayá. Transporting us to another world not so far away.
Upon arrival we were immediately greeted by two alpacas that were tame enough to be fed by hand. Little teaspoons of salt delicately nipped from our palms. Well-manicured landscape lush with color and shape framed by spectacular mountain views. And of course, the house. Built by an architect, it was well-constructed and chock full of detail. With one side firmly wedged into the side of a hill, it gave the feeling of being in a hobbit house. Glass windows lining each wall putting our dogs at ceiling level height as they gleefully peered down at us. A mixture of sweet smelling wood, rocks and cool cement kept the elements natural adding to we’re inside, but really outside feel.
Which I love.
I wanted our usual adventure full of activities. But was too tired for any kind of directional or informational mishap that might lead to extra hours on the feet. Which made the two well-marked trails on the property not just a rarity in life. But a pretty fucking awesome bonus.
The long hike indicated by blue arrows took us about 1.5 hours through the forest and around the edge of a stunning gorge. Medium difficulty. Uneven terrain. Lots of ups and downs and arounds. Edged with pickers that grabbed the hat right off my head. And a narrowness to the lip lining the steep drop that made me only a little nervous as I watched my son toddle along. Led by our own two dogs and two others that lived on the property, we wound through the sights and smells. Hot sun poking through the branches.
My kind of day.
When we returned, we were ready to eat. But first, the garden. Huge heads of kale and leafy stalks of Swiss chard. Bushes of sweet golden berries straight from the vine. Basil and some lemon-y herb we turned into a tea. They were the perfect complements to the sausage we cooked over a roaring campfire before calling it an early night. Bellies full and warm.
The next morning, I awoke to the smell of bacon that we had just purchased from a farm up in Cotacachi. Good bacon can be hard to come by. Meats in general. This stuff was legit. With a couple eggs plucked from the chicken coop and some fresh baked bread gifted by our host, it was the perfect way to start Mother’s Day.
Relaxing with just the right amount of activity to have us all a little sore. Well-appointed and well-stocked with everything you needed, plus a little more. We cuddled under blankets with the heavenly smell of wood burning from the fireplace. And taught my son the fine art of Uno in a loft encased in glass to the sound of rain gently falling on the roof.