Beauty and Adventure: a great combination!

Since I wasn’t enjoying my Spanish classes, I ditched one day and decided to ride a horse in the crater of an active volcano instead.  Isn’t that what everyone does when they play hooky?

Bilbo, my buddy for the day!

Just to be clear, this volcano may still be active but it has a volcanic cycle of 4,000 years and although we are 3/4 of the way thru that, I still thought the 1,000 year buffer made it safe.  Apparently, so do the 200 people who live in this crater!

There was just one other girl on the tour with me that day and we got on famously (do we say that in the US?).  Anyway, we had a good time together and were both very happy to take a day away from Quito, even if the brakes of the car were smoking and we had to wait on the side of the road for another car.  The new driver told us that there were 180 turns on the road going into the crater.  This is a place you don’t just pop out for a coffee!

The ride itself was amazing.  Three of us including the guide, a 25 yr old from San Francisco, rode for about 5 hours total, stopping to picnic midday.

Nice spot for a brown bag lunch

The truly remarkable part was the path we went thru.  At times it was very steep and covered in rocks.  I swear, I wouldn’t have made it down without falling but those horses did.  And there were times when the crevice was so narrow and deep my feet were hitting the rocks on the side as the horse made his way thru.

I just kept marveling at how amazing horses are!

Often I had to remind myself these horses knew what they were doing and didn’t want to fall anymore than I did!  But once, my horse struggled for his footing for quite some time and I wanted to be scared, I really really did, but I reminded myself he was a horse, they don’t fall!

Then I finished my second week of classes that I had already paid for and got out of dodge as soon as I could.  After 2 weeks in Quito, I was really happy to be here:

I think we spent about 5 hours in these hammocks!

At this hostal was some great bird watching.  My camera is just a point and shoot but I tried.

There were at least 5 different kinds of hummingbirds

And I loved these plants because they made me think of what a brainstorm would look like if it were a plant!

But it wasn’t all “tranquilo”.  Here is the highlight reel from our canopy adventure!  (0:47 – 1:20 is the most fun!)

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