Another side trip while Kathleen was here was a trip up to the Cajas National Park. It's the same route I've taken several times that takes you to Guayaquil. But, since GYE is usually my destination, I'm usually in a hurry and don't pull over when I see something interesting. This time, I could finally stop at those places I flew by in the past.
First stop, a place that all you saw from the road was some thatched huts and various statures (some religious) scattered about the hillside. It's quirky, that I'll give it. This place takes advantage of the streams and waterfalls passing through it, to create fish ponds where people can fish for trout. No fancy fishing poles, just a stick, some line, and bait. Scattered about were cool-looking thatched huts, walkways running here and there, lined with railings made out of gnarly, twisted wood. Oddly, there were several llife-sized statues of historical Christian characters (don't ask, I don't know who they were). One looked like Christ up the hill overlooking the small development and blessing it all. Another was some greek looking guy with wings holding a sword as he's about to decapitate another man lying on the ground. LOOK KIDS!!! On the flip side, were whimsical animal statues such as two dinosaurs holding a rod betwen their mouths which supported a swing set. Go figure.
|That's Kathleen on the bridge. Notice the elaborate railing work.|
Further up the road, was a hosteria (hotel/resort). It, too, catered to the fishing folk as did many hole-in-the-walls along the road, but also had facilities for horseback riding, a lodge, and beautiful restaurant. Here's their website:
|Waterfalls were everywhere. This was way off the road, racing down the slopes.|
|Magnificent backdrop behind the lodge|
|A large fountain/pond with boulders, foliage, and fish is the centerpiece of the restaurant.|
|This place had several cozy rock fireplaces, though this one was massive. Notice the size of the copper teapot hanging from the mantle.|
|From the stairway looking back across the restaurant. When's the last time you saw a boulder in the middle of a restaurant?|
|Another cozy place to just hang out, kickback, and enjoy a glass of wine.|
|Llama in the gutter alongside the highway.|
|At the national park station, around 12,000 ft, looking back from whence we came|