Hello again!! We did not skip a beat today, even with it being our first “travel day” of the trip.
A few of my friends and I began our last day in Quito by going up to the rooftop balcony of the hotel to watch the sunrise (at 5:00 A.M., not to mention). Skip took some really cool photos and videos with his drone, one of which flew in over my friends and I. As I said in my first blog, the views here are unreal and are definitely worth an attempt to wake up at that ungodly hour.
After another amazing breakfast (I ate like 2 plates of the eggs and 5 pieces of the bread they gave us), we said goodbye to Hotel San Francisco 🙁 and headed to our first stop of the day, Papallacta.
Speaking of unreal views… yeah this was definitely that. Being 13,000 feet in the air was definitely an adjustment, but having an amazing view of the even higher hills above and the lush flora below made it one of the coolest visual experiences I have ever encountered.
But that was only the beginning of another crazy day. After the beautiful mountain walk, we headed to my personal favorite part of the day, the hot springs. After arriving, we quickly took showers and changed into our bathing suits. I had been in hot springs once before in Costa Rica, but those were not totally natural. These ones were however, and the warmth comes from the heat of the Cotopaxi Volcano. The experience was quite serene to say the least, and a good way to decompress after a few long days of traveling and breathtaking (literally) experiences.
This relaxation would continue as we traveled to a hummingbird reserve after finishing up our time at the hot springs. I had mentioned previously that I am quite the animal lover, and that statement applies especially to birds. This stop was therefore like a dream to me. We saw a lot of different colorful species, and I got a few cool photos and videos too!
After some scenic bird watching, our trip would pick up the pace a bit with a hike through a cloud forest. While the high altitudes were definitely still in full effect, the views and experience was unmatched yet again. The mix of the fog and the lush greenery gave such a cool and unique vibe to the forest. I mean, we were literally INSIDE the clouds, how could it not be cool?!
Next stop: the Iyarina Lodge, where we would stay for the next few days. The ride was definitely a rough one, as we ran into stand-still traffic due to a rock slide, but it reminded me of the word that Skip and Rick told us to remember throughout the trip: flexibility. The 76ers won which was cool too. 🙂
I am sure this word will come in handy later in the trip, but until then, peace out friends!