Un dia en la montana – 12 June, 2011

Didn't look too intimidating from this angle, as we started our ascent, but this angle really isn't accurate

Our host-father, Frank, invited us to join him and a neighbor to hike up a nearby mountain. While Suhail and I are not really the outdoor adventurer type, we do enjoy a good walk and were interested in getting out of the developed part of Quito, so knowing we were probably about to be schooled by two folks twice our age, we accepted.

We had a perfect day – the sun was shining, but there was a beautiful breeze. Remember we are also on the ecuator and we were about to ascent a mountain – perfect conditions for getting a terrific sunburn! Luckily, we had plenty of sunscreen and I wore my dorky hat, which I reserve for just such occasions.

Partway up the mountain, hat removed, smiles intact

It was a crazy hike! There was a trail of sorts, but at times it was not much more than a series of large, slippery, dusty rocks. As we ascended, I was already dreading the return trip, where our footing would be even less secure. Nonetheless, we traversed on and were rewarded with incredible vistas many times along the way and, of course, when we reached the summit.

The edge of suburban sprawl in Quito

Much appreciated peace and quiet above the valley

Like a dream...

Our party heads to the other side, overlooking the city of Quito

When we finished, I told Suhail I would not be doing that again…and when we got back to the house, Frank told us how much he wanted to take us for a hike up another mountain very soon. Oh well! I guess that’s a vote of confidence anyway, and I am sure by the time we do our next hike, I will again have forgotten how much I dislike walking up or down any sort of incline. I will always be a Midwestern girl!!!

The look of triumph! (or not...)