Trip Start Apr 03, 2008
24Trip End Apr 27, 2008
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We were out the door at 7:30 this morning for a day trip to Imbabura province. The Amazing Tania was there to introduce us to our guide, Santiago. We also had a driver, Jesus. He didn't speak English but Santiago's was excellent. We had spent some big bucks on this tour, Imbabura Trails, about $300, so I was relieved that the altitude combined with getting my land legs was manageable. We were out for eleven hours, enjoyed hiking and lots of neat sites, and picked Santiago's brain about Ecuador's history, social climate, political situation and lifestyles
Anyhow, about the day, our first stop was what I would call a convenience store about 1 1/2 hours North of Quito on the Pan-American highway. I bought a Panama Hat (miss-named - they are Ecuadorian) for my dad and then we went down the valley to the Otovalo market. It's a great big outdoor vendor market of textiles, crafts and some basic supplies for locals, as well as lots of yummy smelling food we couldn't eat.
We stayed there for about a 1/2 hour and finished up some gift buying for dear friends, like a creepy green devil mask for Eggerdings and 15 thread bracelets for students. Next stop was hiking around a crater lake. It was beautiful and felt great! We didn't cover much ground - about 2 km, but were at 11,000 ft and ascended about a km. I was really pleased that the altitude didn't knock me flat.
Then we drove through pretty little towns, past rose nurseries and farms to a very nice restaurant, Hosteria, La Casa de Hacienda
Back in the van, our driver took us through San Pablo to an equator marker which was surprisingly cool. It was a massive sundial with a 30 foot cylinder in the middle to catch the noon light. This was not the big monument you see in the media, because we were on a less traveled road. But it was staffed by a volunteer who was deeply passionate about the equator. We bought a world map from him that shows the world the "right" way; East on top, West on the bottom. It meant more of the continents were on the left, which sounds really good to me.
That was the last stop before a long drive back to the hotel. We cleaned up and met Richard and Ross for dinner. Margaret was sick the whole day so we gave her some of our Cepro pills. I really hope it worked.
That was the end of our trip! The next morning we left for the airport at 3:30 AM. The Amazing Tania took us. Twelve hours later we were with the kids, my parents and the cats in Bellevue.
Thank you so much for reading the blog; especially those of you who made it to the end! It has been a pleasure to create it, but even more of a pleasure to know that people are learning from it. In just the first two weeks it has had 525 hits! Please leave your comments - I'd love to know what you are thinking! Sincerely and gratefully, Nancy