Puerto Cayo, Ecuador

Tababela/Quito, Ecuador

Friday, July 14, 2017: It was time to head back to the capital, Quito, for our return flight to the U.S. We took a 9 pm flight (more like closer to 10:00, evidently Tame, the Ecuadorian airline, is never on time!) from Manta to Quito. The airport lies in a valley just to the east of the city at a bit lower altitude (8,000 ft) vs. the city itself at 9,350 ft. above sea level.

Hosteria San Carlos
A number of lodging choices have sprung up near the new Quito Airport - and for this part of our journey, we chose the Hosteria San Carlos Tababela - a sprawling property with the feel of a beautiful hacienda...
Behind the perimeter wall lies an oasis which reminds one of a sprawling estancia in old Mexico... but with all the modern amenities, including pool and spa. San Carlos Tababela
San Carlos Tababela
The reception area includes a lovely seating area, along with the restaurant facilities. Note the sculpture above the fireplace, done in plaster. Really cool!
An even larger plaster sculpture is on the wall in the dining area... incredible craftsmanship! San Carlos Tababela
Panama Hats
There is also a nice selection of wines (mostly Chilean) - along with a great selection of "Panama Hats"... which, of course, have always been made in Ecuador (of the native "toquilla" straw). They got the Panama name because of the fact that they were exported to Panama for the workers on the Panama Canal.
And three of the most interesting permanent residents at San Carlos are the four-legged variety - a family of llamas! Llamas
And if you watch where you step (yeah, the llamas spend most of their time in the backyard) - you can even play soccer (correction: FUTBOL) at San Carlos! Futbol Fan
Tababela, Ecuador
Tababela is still of the small village variety, but there are a few good dining options nearby by. Saturday night we walked up to the highway where we found a typical Ecuadorian family restaurant, La Bachita.
Our hosts, Manuel and America, treated us to a great meal - steak for Doug, and a hearty (it included an entire chicken breast) chicken soup for Gina. Olon, Ecuador
Tababela, Ecuador
On Sunday - a nice sunny day! - we took a walk around the little town. We found this beautiful little park that just begged you to sit down and stay awhile!
It seems in our travels in Ecuador, that most towns have some sort of statue, either in the town square or park. In Tababela, this beautiful statue of a hummingbird stands proudly in the center of the little village park. Tababela, Ecuador
Tababela, Ecuador
With the Quito Airport being located only about 10 minutes from Tababela, the view of the jets landing or taking off from the airport is great!
Sunday night, Doug wanted to try the food at a restaurant we had heard about when we were first in Tababela in June. Any kind of meat you want, on the grill. So, he took off on foot (it was quite a good walk!) to obtain dinner "para llevar"... (a very important phrase which means "to go".) Tababela, Ecuador
Tababela, Ecuador
He managed to make it back to San Carlos... with grilled chicken, grilled pork, rice, patacones, and even soup (a bit of a surprise to find they even included the chicken's feet in the soup!). But everything was delicious.
Since we had a late flight on Monday night (11:30 pm supposedly), we had planned to take a tour of the highlights in Quito that day. But, the rain set in, and we decided to cancel rather than try to sightsee in the rain. So, we basically hung out at San Carlos for the day. Always entertaining to see where the llamas decide they want to eat! When they start munching on the flowers however, the staff usually chases them away. Tababela, Ecuador
Tababela, Ecuador
Every journey must end, and we must head to the airport for our flight to the States. Here with our two favorite staff members - Amparo,who took care of everything we needed, and the always present German Shepherd "guard dog"!
Thank you again, Amparo, for everything. Hope to see you again soon! Tababela, Ecuador
On to the Airport

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