Update for my second week in Ecuador
Trip Start Aug 23, 2006
27Trip End Dec 23, 2006
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1) Honestly, the week itself wasn`t that action packed with the exceptions noted below. My Spanish professor cranked it up a notch and Iīm currently in irregular verb and verbos reflixivos hell. Itīs a lot more memorization than anything else, but still...it`s effin hard. Each day seems to cause more confusion than solution. I need to figure out how to get the synapses firing again...and I don't think more cerveza is the answer.
2) Wednesday trivia night at the English Pub...sort of a strange experience in the middle of South America. Annabell from England organized a trip out to an English pub for the group and she didn't even show up until it was almost over
3) My Tex Mex experience in Quito. Thursday night after salsa (which I have abandoned) all hope of learning) and we went out for fajita's and margaritas at the local Tex Mex restaurant. It was actually quite good even for gringo standards. A tad expensive and big American portions...but good times.
4) Out with Liz and Stassie (new Aussie amigo) for drinks Friday night. What was supposed to be one drink with these two ended up being 4-5 due to the fact they took me to a decent bar AND there were Irish present. Damn those Irish...I just can't seem to say no when they are up for a drink.
4) High altitude mountain biking on an active volcano
5) Birthday party for Steve...and he and Lis are leaving us. :( It's Steve the Brit and Lis from N.Z.`s last weekend...and it also happens to be Steve's birthday. So after washing Cotapaxi off me, Steve and I catch a cab where there's already a group ready to celebrate...including some very, very cute (albeit young) German girls...but more about them later. Included with this group was about 7 people from school, the German girls, another English girl, two Aussies and that Irish dude from Friday night that wouldn`t let me say no to more drinks. Just from the looks of this group my liver feared for it's life...and from how the night ended, it was right to be scared. We met at the English pub, had a few pictures of beer and some snack food. After that we headed over to a popular cocktail bar for 2 for 1 drinks. After a couple of drinks there, we made our way to the dance club...NoBar....and hereīs where all hell broke lose. I was fairly straight laced (ha)...but a few of my classmates ended up dancing on the bar and there might have been some heavy snuggling in the corner. At 3AM the lights came on, and some crazy fool in our group wanted to go to another bar. I stood in line for a bit...then saw Steve the Brit nearly asleep and as we live literally two blocks apart and I was exhausted from Cotapaxi, I offered to make sure he made it back to his casa de familia ecuatoriana
6) Sunday hiking up to an recently active volcano crater. So...Anabel and Silvio are preparing for a climb to the summit of Cotopaxi (the volcano I biked down the day before). It`s a fairly difficult hike and the last part requires crampons and ice axes. They tried to get me to go with them...hell no. Anyway...they`re doing a lot of training hikes so I went out with them to the Teleferiqo to hike Rucu Pinchincha...a volcano that is nearly 15,000 feet tall and was active as recently in 1999 when it covered Quito in 5 inches of ash. The Teleferiqo is Quito`s newest tourist attraction and it`s essentially a giant gondola or ski lift that takes passengers up the flanks of Rucu Pinchincha to about 12,000 feet. It definitely provides some great views of the city and hopefully my pictures attest to that. At the top there are restaurants, bars, etc...and for the really bold, a dirt path that leads to the peak of Rucu Pinchincha. A lot of people make the hike up to a certain point...but not too many complete it like we did. It was a long 4 hour hike...and the higher we got, the more difficult each step became
I`m currently in week 3 of Spanish and it`s still as difficult as ever. More on week three in a later post. This weekend Iīm off to the town of Baņos which has had some significant volcano activity recently. More on that later as well. Ciao.