Sunday, May 18, 2008

We're still trying to catch up on all the missed blogging ~ so, even though it happened months ago I wanted to post some pictures of my mom's visit to Ecuador back in February.

She came during our Carnival vacation and since that's typically a time when people throw water balloons and spray foam at people we decided to head out of town.

We went to the town of Otavalo which has the largest indigenous market in Ecuador. Here's a picture from a balcony of all the stalls.

We spent our time shopping in the town but stayed at a mountaintop lodge just outside of the town and it was beautiful.

We had a house to our selves and a guy who came around and stoked the fire periodically. We spent a lot of time drinking wind and reading books in the living room by the warm fire.

We ate our meals in the main lodge (which is right behind mom in this picture) and they served pretty decent vegetarian fare.

The place was really gorgeous ~ flowers everywhere (notice all the dahlias?) and we took a long hike around the ridge of the mountain ~ I was impressed with mom's endurance especially since she had only been in town for 2 days and was hiking at over 10,000 feet! We saw some beautiful views and at one point the trail ended in a very nice couples' garden ~ oops! They didn't seem to mind and pointed us in the right direction.

Here's one of the llamas that were hanging around the lodge ~ I think they're so cute. There was also an adorable cat and a tiny puppy.

After this trip I had to return to work so mom came by and visited Chris and I at school.
Here's a picture she took from outside my classroom...

She visit my classroom and got to meet some of my very cute students.

She also spent a day on a tour of the old town Quito visiting all the beautiful churches and squares and learning some of the history of the place.
Her tour also went to mitad del mundo ~ the middle of the world where they have a big monument and museum on the equator (Chris and I still haven't made it there)

We managed to get a few nights of bridge in with our friends who used to play when they were in the peace corps in Nepal.

And for a last hurrah we headed for one night to the cloud forest. We stayed at the eco lodge where Chris and I have been a few times (the pictures might look familiar). We love the owners and they make the most delicious vegetarian food and the place is so relaxing.

As mom and I were hanging out waiting for the communal dinner we ran into a couple who were staying there and we eventually figured out that I had met the guy 15 years ago when I was living in New York City and he was a friend of a friend and had actually stayed for a few nights in my apartment with his girlfriend at the time! Imagine running into each other in a tiny town in Ecuador ~ small world....
We took a wet and muddy hike to see all the flora and some fauna of the area ~ here's mom and our guide ~ it's a big place for bird watching.

We went across the way to the butterfly farm...

If you remember the pictures from a previous trip you have to cross the river mindo to get to the lodge via a home made cable car type thing.

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