Day 9 - evening
Day 2 of tour
It was 3:00pm when we left the Hacienda and headed towards Banos, a popular destination in Ecuador, particularly due to its waterfalls and active volcanos. Michel slept a bit in the car whereas me, I kept looking outside the window not wanting to miss anything of the scenery. It rained a little bit during the drive but at least I was glad that we weren't touring or walking outside.
By the time we reached the town of Banos, the grey clouds had disappeared making way to a beautiful blue sky with big white clouds. Hurrah for that! In the distance, the active Tungurahua volcano, also known as "The Black Giant" could be seen with it towering peak elevated at 5023 meters above sea level. After a long period of quiescence, this particular volcano entered an eruptive phase in 1999 which continues to this day, the last one being in December 2011. Wow! Since I now knew these facts, I wondered if it would erupt during our short stay here! Should be interesting to see!
Since our hotel for the night was situated way above the mountain, right at the very top of it, our driver had to drive along a winding narrow road which at times, was very close to the edge….. Let’s just stay that it was a very thrilling ride!
The Luna Runtun was the name of our Hotel and Spa located within the Sangay National Park, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. The place offered 30 comfortable and spacious rooms with spectacular views of the active Tungurahua Volcano located right behind us and of the town of Banos below! So, we were kind of right in the middle of all the action! Thrilling and exciting don’t you think! It was 5:15pm when we arrived!
The entire area was absolutely breathtaking! Upon checking into our lodge, we immediately changed clothes and did a tour of the entire place. It was paradise of earth kind of place being surrounded by mountain ranges, beautiful gardens and spectacular views over the town of Banos way below us in the valley.
We eventually landed at the enclosed pool area which had a beautiful pool built right on the edge of the mountain with an amazing endless view! Wow! Smaller whirlpools surrounded it. Being too good of an opportunity to pass, after a quick return to our lodge, we were back at the pool within a jiffy, wearing our swimsuits and towels in hands!
By then, I wasn’t prepared for such a breathtaking view! In front of me, the horizon displayed a beautiful sunset which reflected on the pool’s water surface. Being very high above the Andes, I felt part of the scenery as the clouds floated right next to me…..I was in paradise on earth with all these beautiful vistas!
Dinner was included in the hotel’s package. However, having eating quite late this afternoon at the Hacienda in Lasso, Michel and I weren’t very hungry this evening but made it to the hotel’s restaurant regardless. After all, today of all day was St-Valentine’s which meant…..it was celebration time! So, we had to see what they had to offer!
Roses were given to each lady and after checking the menu, even though the food looked quite tempting with all of its St-Valentine’s specials, we opted for dessert, a chocolate mousse complete with whipped cream and on top of it, a real red colored rose! How nice! We each had a raspberry juice to drink with it!
Wanting to see the city of Banos at night, that’s exactly where we headed right after finishing our dessert! We headed to the pool area which offered spectacular vistas of the tiny illuminated town way below us! In the décor, the town’s cathedral with its blue illuminated towers really stood out!
It was 8:00pm when we retreated back to our room for the night after having had such a wonderful but long and exhausting day! Monique :-)