Ecuador’s rich Land is cheap as dirt and so beautiful!
Merri and I came into Cotacachi at the end of the year and Steve immediately informed me that he and two others guys had formed a small, casual hiking club. “Would you like to come along on the next little hike?” he asked.
The little glint in his eye when he said “little”, should have caught my eye! End of the year, changing catalogs…setting up a schedule for 2008 plus daily routine create way too much work for Merri and me and of course bad weather in Little Horse Creek. Getting out sounded so good. Yes, was an easy answer.
Saturday morning we drove several miles from Cotacachi rising from the village’s valley floor of about 7,500 to perhaps 9,000 feet. We departed the car and eyed our goal, that little mountain behind Steve and our friend, Bob Skinner, (a fellow Oregonian) who has moved to Cotacachi as well.
Off we went always rising…the air thinning, but the views growing. Here we stopped in an area well known for the condors…a protected bird.
The farm land is beautiful.
But steep, as this close up shows.
About an hour up we stopped and chatted with a family of potato farmers. This is not the way to get rich!
Yet these people are sweet, happy and so full of energy. The children loved seeing their picture on my camera.
The break was enjoyed. By now we were between 10,000 and 11,000 feet and my lungs and legs we speaking to me. “What in the heck is going on!”
But we were not done. This is the timber line, almost twice as high in Oregon (around 6,600 feet at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood ) and that path up was not looking pretty.
Yet we trudged onwards…and up. Steve and Bob reached the summit just ahead of me.
What a view…well worth the hike.
These are times when a great photographer is required…which I am not. Yet my body was happy that I was not lugging a larger camera. Ounces at this stage convert to pounds.
We took a rest, watching San Pablo Lake and Otavalo in the distance below. Our hound, Ma, seemed unaffected.
Finally we limped back down…the long way, not intentionally, but due to being stuck in the thick grass at one stage.
The total trek was about eight hours. We were tired toward the end. Fatigue can create some wonderful moments though when one slides into one’s thoughts to forget the pain.
Here is how the thinking went.
“These people are said to be poor, but in many ways so rich. Look at this soil…so black and always blessed by the sun.”
Here is a shot I engineered to show how deep the top soil goes. If one digs deeper, maybe down six feet, the soil remains rich and life giving.
These people are friendly, happy, caring and have the strength of elephants. They eat clean, simple, pure, food. They do not have cars…nor do they have traffic jams. They do not always have TVs..nor do they have to watch commercials for McDonalds, Burger King and KFC. The closest fast food is KFC but it is more than an hour away. Nor do they have computers…buit on this day I was glad to be with them rather than on my computer!
Such a wonderful place. We hope wherever your place, it is wonderful too.
Join us this winter or spring at one of our tours and courses are below:
See Ecuador ’s markets.
Eat in rustic and charming beach front restaurants where we will stay on the coastal tour.
Enjoy Ecuador ’s empty beaches and see the coastal architecture. Here is a local house.
Most delegates in March will join us for two or three courses as there is a sizable savings.
If you attend all three courses separately the fees are $1,847. Sign up for all three at only $1,499 here. Save $348. Three course savings.
Three courses for two separately are $2,597. Two on our three course adventure is only $1,999. Save $598. Three courses savings for two.
April 10-14 Super Thinking + Spanish
Here is a shot taken at a recent Ecuador Shaman tour as the musicians played for us at a shamanic ceremony at Lake Cuicocha .