Friday, May 04, 2007

Here's a quick note...
As you may know, Chris and I have three terraces off of our apartment. One of the three we use all the time to sit on and look out at the city and the mountains (I'm sure you've seen the pictures in earlier entries). We have a lot of plants out there that chris has grown from seed and we recently bought a hummingbird feeder and a fuchsica plant (hummingbirds are really attracted to these flowers).

Well, we were ready to be patient but I think it took about 24 hours before we got our first guest....

and now we have about three regulars that come all day to drink from the feeder (and sometimes the plant) and chase each other around. They're even getting used to us being around, which is great because we get to see them up close.

This makes us very happy.
Well, we're back from our latest mini-adventure. We had a surprise 4 day weekend (it was supposed to be 3 days but the government changed the holiday to Tuesday). So we decided to take two of those days to head up to Otavalo ~ a town about 2 hours north of here. Otavalo is the town with the largest indigenous craft market in all of Ecuador. In fact, the Otavalenos are an indigenous success story because they are able to make decent money selling their crafts.

Anyway, a bunch of teachers from school rave about this hostel called La Luna outside of town in an idyllic setting in the mountains. It's mostly a backpackers hostel and Chris and I have wanted to hike a mountain close by called Fuya Fuya (beautiful and fun to say).

Here's the view we saw when we stood outside our room in the morning...

And the path that led down to the building where our room was...

When we arrived, we were met by an amazing sky. The clouds were surrounding a mountain.

The skies here constantly amaze us by how beautiful and dramatic they are and by how quickly they change. You can be suddenly surrounded by clouds and mist.

Unfortunately, when we arrived Friday night we found out that the road up to the base of the mountain was blocked by a landslide because of all the rain we've had lately.
Normally, you would drive (or take a taxi) the 10K to the Mojanda lake to hike up Fuya Fuya.

Instead, we hiked about 8 or 9 K uphill (at high altitude) for about 2 1/4 hours and saw this beautiful view of the mountain we wanted to climb, rested a bit (it was a great workout!)

and hiked back to the hostel. It would have been impossible to hike the 20K round trip plus up and down the mountain ~ so we have to save it for next time.

The next day we hiked the 5K into town and did some shopping at the market.
We kept walking and looking at the town to where we were supposed to be...

We also got to see their local fruit/vegetable market and it was beautiful! If only we had a car we would have filled it up.

We came home on Sunday feeling pretty proud of ourselves for getting better at managing the bus system. Instead of heading to the far south of the city where the bus station is, we caught a bus in the north (close to where we live) on the side of the road, hopped on to get the last two seats and enjoy the movie that was playing ~ Rambo First Blood, part II (dubbed in Spanish). It saved us about 45min to an hour. And we were able to figure out where to jump off on the way back ~ after enjoying the movie Collatoral Damage (Gov. Arnold) also dubbed in Spanish.