Baños de Agua Santa – Owning a Mountain

If I had $500,000, I could own a mountain right now in Ecuador. When Rigoberto offered me his mountain, I almost said yes, and we’ll work out the details later. It was the most beautiful mountain. High above the town of Baños de Agua Santa, yet only a 10 minute drive up. Surrounded by clouds, waterfalls, farms, cows, green, mist, and other mountains of course. I think he wanted to retire. You see, he owned one of the best hosterías/hotels/hostals/B&Bs I’ve ever stayed in.

I would go back and live there if I could afford it. But it’s a lot of work. Him and his wife, Mercedes, run the hotel together and they know a thing or two about service and hoteling. They offered me an amazing herbal tea upon arrival when I was so tired from driving. They upgraded me to their best suite because I was the only one staying there, and I had only booked the treehouse. It was the honeymoon suite and you should see the bathtub! I’ve never experienced this in all the places I’ve paid more to stay in the United States. In the US, you pay double to stay in a shitty motel and deal with whatever grumpy desk clerk is there. And you most certainly do not get freshly made, organic, delicious hot tea. Capitalism…

I am going to have to write a long-form post on this place, just this place. Then one more on Baños. I left a piece of my heart in this mountain and I’m grateful that I was able to go there, and that Rigoberto and Mercedes tolerated my americantourist-nonspanishspeaking-self. Even if their business depends on travelers like me or other traveling Ecuadorians, some of us Americans can be downright ignorant and intolerable.

Anyways, this is about photography right? – this photo was standing at the front door looking out at the side of the mountain. The clouds at the top of the frame are hiding the rest of the mountain, no it doesn’t even stop there, we’re talking a volcano, think higher… Those plastic coverings are farms and they run up the mountain. Yeah, you thought farming was rough in the US, try vertical farming, on a mountain, in high altitudes. These people are really tough.