So my host family has a little house they built near a village called Tulípe, where Germán’s dad has a farm, and I’ve now been a couple of times. It was really nice to get out of the city and chill in the country for a bit. Cities can get me down after a while and, as Tulípe is in the cloud forest, the area is overwhelmingly beautiful. Artists would cry.
The first time I went we went to this amazing river where we went swimming. It was a beautiful spot and the water was perfect on such a hot day. Sadly I didn’t take my camera because when I asked if I would need anything Marta said no and then spent a lot of the afternoon telling me off for not bringing my camera.. you just can’t win sometimes! The second time we went to this amazing swimming pool with the most beautiful views over the valley, guess who didn’t have their camera again? I know, I know, I am a failure.
Time spent in the “finca” is mainly spent chilling, reading and listening to music. There I tasted my first “fritada” (fried pork accompanied by mote, corn, potatoes, fried banana, and tostada, which is toasted corn) and also my first “tomate de árbol”, literally a “tree tomato”, which is a sour, orange variation of a tomato which you eat with a bit of sugar. It’s delicious. I also saw my first Latin American cows, and a sheep which reminded me of home.
Last time I was there it rained a lot and we enjoyed the sound of raindrops on the roof while we listened to salsa music and tucked into a bottle of wine. It’s a good life in the country.
Tulípe is also home to a museum about the indigenous community who used to live there, the Yumbo. There’s a visit round the museum followed by a guided tour of the ruins in the village, all very interesting. The museum puts a lot of emphasis on conservation and man’s relationship with nature, which is to be expected in the first country to recognise the Rights of Nature in its constitution.
I also discovered that the town used to be very important in the chocolate industry. Sadly, this is no longer the case.
So if you’re ever in need of an escape from the hustle and bustle of Quito, I recommend Tulípe. There’s even a nice hostel/ hotel you can stay in. It’s a beautiful and relaxing place with friendly people and no sense of time.
More info: http://www.tulipecloudforest.org/