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The Ecuador Chronicles - 2011-17

Two Very Old Haciendas;
                     Great for a Visit to Cotopaxi
                                  Alexander von Humboldt Slept Here 
by Ray Almand 
Hacienda La Cienega
When we finished last week Andy, Juan and I were leaving Hacienda San Agustin de Callo after not being invited to lunch with the Vice President of Ecuador.  Take a look here if you missed that Chronicle:
Fortunately La Cienega, a three hundred year old hacienda is only a short distance away.  This hacienda has hosted many famous guests including Ecuadorian Presidents and Alexander von Humboldt, the famous explorer / scientist who also stayed at Hacienda San Agustin de Callo.  In fact, at Hacienda La Cienega you can stay in the same room that Humboldt used during his time there in 1802.
We had a relaxing, if late, lunch in the hotel restaurant.  I had a very good steak and Locro - Ecuadorian potato soup.  We enjoyed walking around the grounds and seeing Alexander von Humboldt's room.  The driveway into the Hacienda is lined with large eucalyptus trees.  If you like eucalyptus trees take a look here:
Here are some pictures of Hacienda La Cienega:
 Entrance Drive - from Both Ends
 A Very Old Hacienda
 Hallway to Rooms
To Take the Chill Off
Dining Room
"Alexander von Humboldt Slept Here"
 Humboldt's Quarters
Garden Area
 View of the Eucalyptus Drive from Upstairs
We finished our late lunch and headed back to Quito, arriving about dark.  Andy's flight was this same night.  After a few hours' rest he packed up and headed to the airport.  It is amazing what you can do in Ecuador within a short distance of Quito.  Let's review: 
  • We left Quito maybe 7:30 AM
  • Drove South to Cotopaxi
  • Picked up our Park Guide - Piedad
  • Went through the park and visited the Park Museum
  • Continued on the the highest parking area
  • Hiked up past the snow line - breathing hard from the altitude
  • Hiked back down through a sleet storm
  • Took the icy road back down the mountain
  • Tried to have lunch with the Vice President at Hacienda San Agustin de Callo
  • Finally had a late lunch at Hacienda La Cienega
  • Saw Alexander von Humboldt's room
  • Drove back to Quito
  • Took a break in our apartment
  • Andy took his evening flight back to Atlanta
All that - and on a travel day.  And that's only the high points.

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