The house where Merri and I are staying is on a 65 acre plantation that sits atop a small plateau. View spread in each direction over lush, green valleys. The house is in the Spanish style, with high walls and wrought iron gates surrounding the building and huge, arched wooden entrance doors.
The house is u-shaped with a long base. You enter at one short end into a courtyard with a gorgeous swimming pool in the center, the house runs along the right and warps around the other end of the court. On the left is a terraced garden rising to a high wall. The garden has many types of cactus, aloe vera, geraniums, purple ice plant, waxy vines and maguey, hibiscus, oleander, all creating a blaze of white, pink and orange.
Plus there many herbs, rosemary, chives, sage, cidron and acacia tress all planted in four tiers each about two feet wide, each rising four feet or so to a total 20 of feet high, where a large stucco wall has the traditional broken glass embedded in the top to discourage uninvited guests. In the middle of the Mexican tiled patio, the good sized rectangular swimming pool is cleansed by a special sun generated cleaner that floats in the pool and avoids the need for chemicals. The entire water supply is purified by ultra violet light so we can drink the water from the tap.
The house then runs like a large L along the left of the court yard and around the end. Inside features high walls, small dark beams, thick white stucco walls. Inner windows lets brilliant sunshine in as one side is totally glassed leading out onto the courtyard and pool.
The modern kitchen is the first room upon entering ad consists of hardwood cabinets with marble floors and counters. Merri likes to do the cooking so we don't work our a cook-maid Pilar as we should, but the gardener and driver, Manuel, who is thrown into the deal, helps us all the time. The kitchen leads through a large, wooden swinging door into a good sized dining area. The furniture including a large dining table is Spanish Colonial, dark and heavy, (not our favorite style but somehow okay here amidst all the white and sun).
A large living room comes next, with a chimineria fireplace in one corner that makes each evening cozy when the sun sets and the night air cools.
Next is a small office where I sit now looking at the views that spread beyond my large roll top desk.
Plus there are three tiled bed rooms and marble bathrooms.
All floors are marble or Mexican tile, very cool and soothing to walk on in bare feet. The yard has thick, abundant grass and views are outrageous leading off into valleys and hills with two peaked volcanoes (Imbabura and Cotapaxi) in the distance.
This is a perfect place to write, rest and relax. Lots of long views, peace and absolute quiet.
The walls are covered in classic books (all hard cover) Shakespeare, Omar Khayyam, Homer, Epictetus, Emerson, Bacon, Steinbeck, Doyle, Twain, Sinclair Lewis, Balzek, Defoe, Bacon and on and on. I thought I might just read the winter away in the sun (you'll see next message why this is not to be)! The weather is warm, but dry no air conditioning needed and just a little fire in the evening, more for morale than out of need. Three blankets needed at night with the mornings crisp and cool. We are so happy here. All this, driver and car included, is just $750 a month!