So we’re coming down to our final month here in Ecuador and we’re trying to fit as much into this last bit as possible. We had a leisurely visit to the farm last week and then Monday we took a trip out to Parque Nacional Cajas which is a scenic 30-40 minutes from Cuenca, heading toward Guyaquil. We had been mesmerized by it’s beauty on our way from Guyaquil our first day in Ecuador and again we admired it’s majestic landscape, covered in mist as we drove to the Pacific Coast.
We drove to the information area overlooking a large glacial lake. There are several hiking trails throughout this large park. We saw one on the map in the information center that looked fairly easy until the information woman told us it was a five and a half hour hike. Yeah, that ain’t happening with two young kids! So we decided to hike around the lake. I had read reviews about hiking here, that it was difficult even for seasoned hikers, so I figured it best to stay near the visitor’s center. The two hour hike was a bit challenging, especially when carrying a one year old, and even worse if you have to carry a three year old (poor Cory). There were some soggy areas, difficult to find paths, steep climbs and descents, and areas loose dirt making for some unsure footing. Ms. E slipped several times, but all in all we did fairly well. I especially loved the beautiful paper trees as is evidenced by my many photos I took of of them.
After our hike we rewarded ourselves with lunch at Dos Chorreras. The beautiful atmosphere made up for the mediocre and somewhat pricy meal. I wish I hadn’t been too tired to take pictures of the inside, but you can see some on the provided link. It would be a nice hotel to stay at if you were to visit the area.
Our visit to the farm. We love the hammock we got my dad for Christmas!
This week we took another trip to Parque La Madre after Miss E got out of school. It was a gorgeous day. She LOVED the zip line swing. Daddy chased her to the end the first time but, I think just to give me a heart attack, he let her go on her own. She did an excellent job of holding on tight. It is quite a sudden stop at the end.
She also enjoyed the normal playground equipment as well as the exercise gear.
Miss P had a grand time watching from the stroller. That was the last time I saw that pacifier and she also tossed a couple socks out of the stroller this week. Bummer!
Miss E got her new school uniform dress. It’s so cute, isn’t it? While sissy was at school, Miss P tortured the neighbor dog across the street while chewing on her big sister’s Hello Kitty slippers. Daddy encourages her because the neighbor’s dog keeps him up at night, barking. He figures she should be woken anytime she is sleeping during the day to make up for her nocturnal misbehavior. That’s some papaya on Miss P’s face, one of her favorites.
We also headed to the farm for the weekend. Cory finished the window staining on one of our last visits and had to put the protective lacquer coating on. He got maybe a third to half of what he needed to complete. The road to the farm had recently been ‘smoothed’ (it was much better) and the dahlias were in full bloom. We visited all the animals, the bunnies, the trout, the pigs, the cows, the dogs and the sheep. Miss P is quite fond of Matthias, the Golden Retriever. He’s such a gentle guy, enjoying the attention. He got up and left to check on something he heard and Miss P was looking for him to return.
A trip to the Saraguro market was our final destination before heading back to Cuenca. We ate at our favorite restaurant and got a few things from the market. On the way back Miss E wanted to stop for a potty break so daddy set up her toilet in the back of the truck. I must say it’s not uncommon to see people (mostly men) urinating on the side of the road (or in the parks, driveways, etc.) here so she fit right in.