Posted on May 14th, 2011 at 10:34 PM by admin
For my birthday I decided to take my first full day off of schoolwork in…I don’t even know how long. Quite possibly since the semester started?  I didn’t sit around and watch TV though. Oh no. I went hiking with my friends Josh and Brandis. Brandis traveled all the way here from Milan, Italy where she is studying so I had to make sure to show her a good time. Seeing as how I didn’t quite make it the last time I tried to climb a mountain, I thought this time I would just try to descend one. 6 hours later I realized that that isn’t necessarily any easier for me. My poor friends listened to me whine and complain for the last 2 hours or so of the approximately 8 hour adventure. So I’ve decided I just shouldn’t ever go on a hike that takes more than 5 hours. Yup that’s my new plan! I think…but don’t quote me on it!

This view left me speechless 🙂

This little bridge somehow made this picture great

When we started the hike we couldn’t see 5 ft in front of us and I was pretty disappointed as I had seen pictures of the amazing view at the top of the mountain. We even had to hike a few hours with our umbrellas out, but about halfway down it started to clear up and the mountain revealed to us its momentous beauty.  We veered off the path for a bit to check out a stream that caught our attention. And when we got to the bottom we were greeted by many farm animals that I couldn’t help but take pictures of. Josh tried several times to pet one of the cows but the cow was not having it!

This chicken had quite the swagger

The cow that got away from Josh...

After that crazy long hike we showed up like 1.5 hours late for my birthday dinner (whoops!) I even had a couple beers. It was WILD!  Thanks to everyone for that special day. It was exactly what I needed!

Posted on July 1st, 2010 at 10:46 PM by admin

          From the Galapagos Islands I flew to Guayaquil (a bit further south in Ecuador).  After spending a day in the bus terminal I took a night bus to Loja and promptly hopped on another bus to Vilcabamba.  Although completely exhausted after all the busing and lack of sleep, I perked right up to the green mountainous landscape surrounding all sides of this beautiful little town.

Wow...is all I can say!

The most cooperative stick bug you´ll ever meet!

          Upon arriving I met a fellow traveler and made some collective plans for the day. After sharing breakfast with my new travel buddy I met my soon-to-be second travel buddy who was my roommate.  We all ended up going into town together and afterwards a refreshing hike and lunch. Afterwards I rushed back to th hostal for a much needed 75 minute $18 massage.  God I want to live in this place!!!  That night I had a  drink with Danny and Annabelle and hit the hay.

          What happened the next day I was in no way prepared for but that is nothing new for what has become an impromptu mad dash of a trip through South America. The three of us wanted to go zip lining in the mountains and off we went for several hours on horseback to reach our  lunch destination. Once again I got the crazy fast horse which was fun a first but down right scary at times. My leg muscles and knees were already killing me after th horserid but then we took off on foot to find the zip lines. The trail was rough to say the least – Annabelle lost hr balance on a tre trunk bridge and was told by the guide that she was lucky the tiny mettal wire she used to catch her balance actually held. This was crtainly not th only accidebt/injury of the trip, but I wont bore you will the details.  After hiking for about an hour we arrived at a very disappointing display of 2 small zip lines.  It was hardly worth the hike and on the way back my tendonitis was killing me from such a demanding day.  After all that my two friends decided not to say the two extra days in the mountains as they´d planned and returned that night with me. I was more than a little perturbed that we had to ride the horses back down for another 2.5 hours much of which was in th dark and the guide left many of us on our own and when we finally arrived it was 2 hours later than planned.  Having said all that, it wasn´t all bad- just hard to focus on the good due to poor planning and execution of the tour overall.  I still am in lov with this town and am grateful to have bonded with two great people.  Until we meet again Annabelle, Danny and VILCABAMBA!

Me and my new friends at our ¨highest¨point