The Ecuador Chronicles - 2010-12
La Posada del Arte - A Cozy Hotel;
Conversation Around the Fireplace;
And Where You Gonna Go
Dalynda and I stayed in a really cool hotel in Baños - La Posada del Arte. It is located on the southeast side of the downtown area, close to the Termas La Virgin thermal baths. The hotel is owned by an American couple from Chicago - Marsha Jackson and Jim Redd. There are 11 rooms, a restaurant and a cozy sitting area with a fireplace. Marsha and Jim have owned the hotel for six years. The couple are avid cyclists - and Baños is a great town for cycling; in fact, that is how they ended up owning the hotel. They had brought a group to Baños for a cycling holiday and stayed at the hotel. They decided to stay in Baños for a couple of extra days after the group went back. They told the then owners how much they liked the hotel; the owners asked: "Exactly how much do you like it?" They said a lot. The next question was: "Would you like to buy it?" Soon Marsha and Jim were hotel owners.
La Posada del Arte - A Cozy Hotel
Each Room is unique at the hotel; some have waterfall views, some garden views, some have small balconies, some have fireplaces. And, true to its name, there is art in the rooms and all around the hotel.
Room With A Fireplace
One of the Smaller Rooms.......
........With its Own Private Balcony Overlooking the Garden
Stairs To The Roof Top Teraza
As they suddenly became hoteliers, Marsha and Jim also became restauranteurs - and the restaurant is great with quite an extensive menu. The restaurant has a front area with windows looking out to the street and an interior part that blends nicely with the seating area around the fireplace. And of course, there is art throughout. Baños is noted for good restaurants and Dalynda and I had planned on trying several - but often we just ate at the hotel.
Overlooking the Street
A Comfortable Experience
Seating Around the Fireplace
Conversation Around the Fireplace
One of the nice things about staying in a small hotel is that it is easy to meet fellow travelers. There are fewer distractions such as televisions in the rooms or a swimming pool. Every now and then Jim would come around and add a stick of wood to the fire. We met a mother and 16 year old daughter from Portland. The Daughter was on an exchange program for a year in Guayaquil, staying with an Ecuadorian family. The mother had come down for a visit and they were traveling around Ecuador together. They had made a day trip over to the Amazon Basin; they were talking about their adventures. Dalynda and I talked about our visit to the thermal springs and our walks around the town (I also explained that I had taken a very vigorous afternoon nap). There was an Indian guy from London who had been all over Ecuador including the Galapagos, and an English IT project manager; she had spent several months doing volunteer work teaching children English in the Amazon area.
And then there was Eunish, a matronly looking lady with reddish hair and an accent that I did not recognize. Dalynda asked about her day - I expected maybe a visit to a gallery, maybe the thermal baths, perhaps, like me, a nap. But no - Eunish replied:
"I went bridge swinging" (it is a bit like bungee jumping without the bounce - you swing way out back and forth on a rope attached to a high bridge)
Dalynda asked, "Weren't you afraid?"
Eunish replied, touching her finger to her nose, "Some people have no sense of smell."
Touching her fingers to her ear, "Some people have no sense of hearing."
Holding her hand over her heart she said, "I, I have no sense of fear."
Dalynda said, "My goodness, you should write a book!"
Eunish replied, "I already have; it will be published in three months"
Dalynda, "What is the name of your book?"
Eunish, "My book is called 'I Must Go To Katmandu' ."
Dalynda, "Can I read it - is it in English?"
Eunish, "No, it is in Turkish"
So, Eunish was a Turk with red hair. Originally from Istanbul, she now lives on the Aegean coast. Dalynda asked her about the thermal baths - she said she had enjoyed them.
Dalynda asked, "Did you go in the cold pool?"
Eunish replied, "No, I did not like the cold water; I do not do things I do not like"
Jim and Marsha - Accidental Hoteliers
Where You Gonna Go
I asked Marsha and Jim about how they coped with living beneath an active volcano. Marsha, quite philosophical, said: "A volcano's life is very, very long; my life is very short - hopefully we don't cross paths at the wrong time." Jim takes a more practical approach. A few years back Tungurahua was acting up a bit - the government had raised the alert level a notch. Jim had a computer model showing how any lava flow was likely to be away from Baños itself. Some of the guests said they were quite comforted by this - as they packed their bags and got the hell outta Dodge. Several guests remained; Jim served beer and cranked up the stereo with that Jimmy Buffett song perfect for the occasion - "The Volcano Song". It is a great song; in fact, I will ask Live Well Ecuador friend Donna in Vieques, Puerto Rico to lead us through a virtual chorus right now. We all know how it goes - Take it away, Donna!
I don't know, I don't Know
I don't know where I'm a gonna go
When the volcano blow
Thank you - everyone did a great job - it sounded good; there must be a bit of Parrot Head in all of us.
Check out Jimmy Buffet performing "The Volcano Song" in this YouTube video clip.
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