Back to the Highlands
Trip Start Jan 19, 2012
16Trip End Feb 03, 2012
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Back in Quito airport, we wait for Eduardo to arrive with our bus. It's the same one we had before, which isn't large enough for all of us and the luggage. The cram it all in, but the top row of luggage is higher than the back row of seats and some overflow onto the back seat itself. I get crammed into what remains of the last row along with 2 others; 3 people in two seats
A local indigenous man, Cesar Cotatachi, has arrived to give us information about himself and natives if the area. We settle into a room that may have once been the chapel and sip our Canelzos, a delicious drink made with cinnamon, tea, naranjilla juice and rum, while he speaks. It's interesting to hear about how many of the native men have left the country to sell their work as artisans, allowing them to accumulate some wealth and status. Later in the trip down to Cuenca, we see evidence of that wealth: empty, elaborate new houses, built with foreign earned wealth, waiting the owners return.
We have an excellent dinner in the main building and then to bed with, briefly, a roaring fire. Lovely but only temporarily effective. There is a small space heater plugged in near the little bathroom. I relocate it to one of the bedside tables. I have to play around with the controls a bit (I never do quite get the hang of it) and get some heat blowing across the bed. Luckily, we're also supplied with plenty of wool blankets. I am as snug as a ....