Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ecuador - a hacienda closer to the sky

On the way to Cotopaxi National Park's nothern entrance is Hacienda El Porvenir (= 'good future'), a working farm with a restaurant and simple rooms for rent. The altitude is 3500 m, and the view is probably breathtaking with a handful of high volcanoes surrounding it, but we didn't see them because of a cloudy day.

The hacienda isn't very old, but is built in an old fashion, which I thought was really attractive.

The baking oven - it even seemed to be used!

Below is a typical colorful Ecuadorian door way, and a photo from the inside. Fresh cut roses were everywhere, since they are so cheap in Ecuador. 20 long-stemmed roses was about $1 at the market, but in New York City the same ones would have been at least $75, maybe more. Ecuador produces a lot of roses for export to the United States.

Inside the hacienda we were served this delicious drink - canelazo. It is warm and made from a yellow tomato-like fruit called naranjilla. In Ecuador they add sugar to everything, they love sweet juices and desserts. In this drink they also add the local cinnamon (canela). It was great, even if very sweet. Traditionally they also add some of the strong sugarcane liquor to it. (One recipe I found has no juice at all.)

Here is the cut open naranjilla fruit we got. The placenta and the seeds are shaped like 4 curly parts, very typical for the tomato family (Solanacaeae). Good but sour!

Sorting the garbage in old milk jugs.

The saddles and all other parts of the gear for the horses are nothing like what AREA is using when she rides here in New Jersey. Look at those stirrups, shaped like shoes!

The farm also has alpacas, fuzzy longnecked animals that really just look like sheep that got into some neck-stretching machine for too long. They really are camels though, not sheep. Next to the farm is this sign that points out the different volcanoes, and not the distance to them, but the elevation of each.


O.K. said...

Nice percussion, eh I mean recycle bins. ;)

I read that male Llamas (which I assume are closely related to Alpacas) are imported to Sweden to protect sheep herds from wolves. Apparently the Llamas see themselves as part of the herd and can be pretty fierce. One Llama was named "Große Günter". :)

LS said...

Llamas as guards - interesting!
I found some more about that here

But it seems like it works for coyotes, but maybe not bigger predators. Imagine, 300 sheep and one llama sticking up among them.