We left Cusco and had a long arduous journey to Quito. When we finally got through customs and loaded the bus we were all a little short on patiences. We still had a two hour journey to north of Quito which just seemed like a bridge too far. We finally made it to Hosteria Pinsaqui, an old hacienda that had been in the owner family for nearly three hundred years. It was Simon Bolivars favorite stop when travelling between Ecudor and Columbia. The room doors were all original with the old heavy brass keys. Each room had a wood stove for heat. The ambiance was restorative. Dinner was served in the large original dining hall. After dinner we returned to the room and surprise our wood stove had a fire and the bed had shot water bottle dressed in a little terry cloth robe. Bed was to inviting to resist.
In the morning we began the drive south back to Quito. Out first stop was a rose farm where we learned a out the production of roses. We visited the green houses that are planted with row after row of roses organised by color. The help begins each morning by cutting the roses that have tight buds. Unacceptable roses are put in a container and dumped in the trash. The trash pile was enough to make me weep, beautiful roses that just didn’t,t meet the standards set by the market. Cut roses are wrapped and moved by conveyor to be washed in soap, sorted again, packaged and then cut to the proper length. (The Russian market prefers an 18 inch while the US market looks for a 12 inch stem.) This farm ships 80,000 roses a day to Russia, US and Europe. All these roses are bred for looks and not fragrance.
Our next stop was the Otavalo Market, one of the largest indigenous markets in the world. Crafts, clothing, fresh foods and home goods.
Lunch was at a cultural center. Native soups, breads, chicken and Guiena pig were on the menu. One pass at a Guiena pig is enough for me. There was a local band and children dancers who entertained us.
We arrived at the hotel at about 630 and were off to another native dinner and more music.