Living in the Andes Mountains is an amazing life experience. It is the longest mountain range in the world, with majestic mountain peaks and fertile valleys stretching for hundreds of miles.
I had the pleasure of visiting one of the many small towns that rest among the hills and valleys of Ecuador not too long ago.
A local restaurant owner in Cuenca arranged the day trip. He grew up in the town of Nabon.
Our day started with a delicious full English breakfast prepared at the restaurant, La Yunta, by her husband, a European chef.
Then we boarded our bus for the hour-long ride south to the lovely, quaint town of Nabon.
As with many small towns in South America, its center was a manicured park and Catholic church.
Our guide walked us around the town among the local women adorned in their traditional Andean garments—a very full, beaded skirt, ruffled blouse, and small derby-styled hat to cover their heads with long black braids.
The Ecuadorians have smiles that touch your heart. I consider them to be the most empathetic people in the world, and it shows every time I speak with them.
After sampling the local almuerza (lunch) cuisine of handmade tortillas filled with eggs and cheese, we headed to our next destination, a local orchid museum. Ecuador’s mild, slightly humid climate is a perfect place to grow the many species of orchids displayed.
A Unique Residence
Our day culminated with a visit to what I can only describe as a unique private residence. It was a large home, sitting on top of a hill. The owners were an Ecuadorian couple who had collected many antiques and had built smaller structures, creating unique opportunities to display stunning scenes.
Cohabitating within the estate was a collection of birds and animals that ran freely among the guests as we strolled along the small paths from one display to another. Donkeys, dogs, pigeons, parakeets, ducks, and a very cantankerous turkey named Bruno joined us.
After exploring the surroundings, they treated us to yet another home-cooked meal made with various local condiments, chicken soup, and a dessert of local fried bananas covered in chocolate.
It was a magical day in the countryside of a country filled with magical beauty. Our bus ride back was quiet because everyone was satisfied with those sumptuous meals, and we all were quite exhausted. I should mention, the cost of the day trip was $25.
Have you taken any interesting day trips throughout Ecuador? Please let us know your thoughts and Bienvenidos!
by: Cathy McKay