July 16th Ecuador

by - July 17, 2018

After we went to bed we quickly realize we were not prepared for the weather.  We were instantly cold and the ground we were sleeping on was extremely lumpy from the prairie grass, not to mention we were on a slight incline.  We tossed and turned for what seemed like an eternity.  Then out of the howling winds I heard a voice.  I thought I was dreaming because we assumed nobody else was camping up here and who in their right mind would be outside in this weather?  I woke Bart up and eventually he managed to free himself from his sleeping bag.  I couldn't get a good laugh at this until after the drama had passed.  So we heard it again "disculpe, muy frio, buenos noches".  We unzipped the tent and there was a local kid, about high school aged standing in the wind.  He was wrapped in a fleece blanket and was asking if he could use our phone.  He called his Dad to pick him up at the bottom.  After he went out of Bart's sight, he turned around and came back.  He had no flashlight and it was pitch dark out.  Not to mention to crazy whirling winds and the below freezing temperatures.  Bart gave him his head lamp and the kid was very grateful.  When we unzipped the tent, everything was covered in frost.  We were better prepared than this kid, but our night did not go well.  The rest of the night was awful.  We froze and didn't get any sleep.  At 6 AM Bart couldn't wake me up fast enough to get us out of there.  Unfortunately we skipped the summit, but it was not a good idea since it was still freezing temperatures and we were extremely exhausted.  The hike down was very difficult.  The combination of steepness and slippery meadow grass had both of us on our ass every 5 minutes.  Our legs were jello and had a mind of their own.  We found ourselves on the wrong path and had to traverse to find the right one.  We were happy to reach the next leg of the walk.  It took another hour to walk down the cobblestone road that the truck brought us up.  There was oddly a bus to Ibarra at the bottom.  We hopped on with all the local school kids and headed off.  We had to laugh because it took us back up the hill.  We took the bus to Ibarra and then another to Otavalo.  We had a quick breakfast and then headed back to unpack and repack.  We relaxed for a couple hours and then went out for pizza.

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