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Ecuador Timbal

What the heck is an Ecuador Timbal?

Super Thinking + Spanish Teacher Glenn Stirling recently visited Cotacachi, Ecuador with the idea of organizing cooking classes and Super Thinking + Spanish course at La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa.

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La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa a Relais and Chateau Spa

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An entrance.

Glenn wrote:

Guinea Pig Anyone?  What the heck is a Timbal?  Dictionary.com says it’s “a custard like dish of cheese, chicken, fish or vegetables made in a drum-like mold.”

A Timbal of Cuy?  Cuy is the Ecuadorian term for guinea pig.  It’s an Ecuadorian delicacy served ubiquitously in this corner of the globe.

My colleague and I had been invited to a special lunch and tour.  We were to appear at La Mirage at 12:30 noon.  We did.

The trip to La Mirage began on a paving stone road for two blocks, progressed to two blocks of asphalt pavement up to a massive sign pointing to La Mirage.  Then – it couldn’t possibly be up this dirt lane, up a further stone cobblestone way with collapsing houses to the right in desperate need of repair?  But it was.  Despair turned to ecstasy as – just beyond the gated entry, a mirage occurred with complete surprise.  In the midst of disrepair, poverty and traditional Ecuadorian life is La Mirage, a (many star) Relais and Chateaux Hotel from Paris.   The best words I can use to describe it – stunning, charming and relaxing – indeed a Mirage in the midst of tiny Cotacachi.  It was built in 1985 on the site of a 200 year old Hacienda.

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Entrance into La Mirage

Our itinerary – tour, photographs, sherry or port, lunch and business discussions were all completed each complimenting the next.  Amazingly La Mirage offers 19 varying themed spa treatment rooms each with individual décor, bath, all complimented by features like its own Shamana and exotic beauty surrounded by lush gardens and grounds filled with delights such as peacocks, open space and amazing greenery.  It’s unlikely you’ve seen anything like this location – anywhere on planet earth.  La Mirage redefines “unique”.

Most local guinea pigs are sold BB Q’d on a stick, much like an Asian satay only with face and paws attached, but this Cuy was chopped fine and blended with tomato, avocado and cilantro sauce.  It sat in a two inch diameter drum shape proceeded by a rose petal sorbet.  Finishing it was a basil sorbet after a service of mini plantain dumpling soup with green peas.  But back to the Cuy – it had no face and no paws.  It was chopped and minced with rice and vegetables.  Delicious.

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Entrance to La Mirage dining room.

Just before the meal the owners had asked, “Port or Sherry before your meal?”  I chose a white Sherry, my colleague a Port.  With the meal were Ecuadorian wines to die for.  A Chardonnay followed by a Pinot Blanc.  We finished with a coffee and a cognac.

The visit and tour, business discussions and 6 course gourmet meal – were all completed, each complimenting the next.  Depending upon the site you see online, the hotel officially ranges from 4-5 stars but having traveled the world, my personal rating is 6+.  Thank you Jorge and Michelle.

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La Mirage Dining room.

La Mirage – Cotacachi – Ecuador.  www.mirage.com.ec email mirage@mirage.com.ec

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2013-2014 Super Thinking + Spanish – Writing to Sell – Business & Investing Course Schedule

Schedule 2013-2014  Super Thinking + Spanish  – Writing to Sell – Investing & Business Courses.

Here are photos I took of Mt. Dora…

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its annual arts festival. 


June 21-22-23  Super Thinking + Spanish  St. Charles, MO  Single $699  /  Couple $899 (Teacher Mark Frakes)

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February 14-15-16  Super Thinking International Investing & Business Seminar  Mt. Dora, Florida  

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