Quito is a huge sprawling city high in the Andes; a massive urban sprawl that smothers the valley floor. But just over the mountains and less than twenty kilometers away is the tiny, peaceful village of Nono.
We reached Nono cycling up a long steep valley through the rain forest. This is Ecuador and it is the rainy season so everything looked succulent and green. We, after six days cycling, were wet, dirty, cold and tired. It was less than an hour until sunset when we rode in to town and everything was closed. We were not as happy as we had been.
We used our best Spanish to ask a young lady where there was a hotel. She knocked on the door of the restaurant “Tierras del Fuego” and Marcelo appeared. He smiled, told us to give him five minutes and got on his mobile. He then collected his dogs and walked us to his father’s house where he made us coffee and showed us to the most amazing holiday flat.
Villa Doris is a stunning apartment with beautiful details, a gorgeous garden and a log burning stove. The only sound is the neighbouring stream. Definitely the best overnight we spent in Ecuador. The owner, Lorena, drove us back to the restaurant and, despite being closed, Marcelo created a dream meal which left no doubt about his international expertise as a chef. It was accompanied by a lovely wine from Patagonia.
Lorena drove us back “home” where the log fire was burning and she had collected and dried all our wet clothes. We were in paradise.
The breakfast looked too good to eat but we ate it anyway. Fresh local fruit, fresh local baked breads and coffee. All with a view of the humming birds in the garden. Lorena knows how to fuel and motivate cyclists for the rest of the climb to Quito.
Our last view of Nono was from a curve on the pass. Small houses huddled amongst green fields surrounded by the imposing Andes. Beautiful!