martes, 14 de abril de 2009

Easter weekend in Quito and the Cloud Forest

Our Easter-Weekend started on Holy Friday when all of us went to the Old Town of Quito to watch the "Procesión de Jesús del Gran Poder," which is a famous Easter-Parade in Ecuador. Once we arrived and found a place for all of us directly on the route of the parade, the spectacle started. However, after one hour we were already getting tired of standing there and getting pushed around by other people, so we decided to go for lunch together instead, which is not an easy task if you are a party of 12... So, we splitted up our group and later we met again and went for some drinks to a nice cafe in "La Ronda". It was a perfect day with lots of sun and fun.

On Saturday, some of us went to Puerto Quito, to the Cloud Forest. We got picked up at 6 in the morning by the owner of the Hosteria we were going to stay, but the funny part is that he came in a little pick up truck, which seats only five to six people, however, we were nine in total including the driver (owner) and a tourist guide. So Peter, Paul and the guide had no choice but to sit on the cargo area with our entire luggage (and this for more than 4 hours). They didn't mind, and soon it looked like they had more fun in the back than we the five girls had in the front... :-)

Finally we arrived in the Hosteria, and just had time to enjoy our welcome-cocktail, eat lunch, and right away we were already on the way to our first trip into the Cloud Forest. It yet started quite adventurous, since we had to cross a river and the choices to do so were either to swim (and holding ourselves on a rope to not get drifted away by the strong current of the river) or to go by a little aerial tramway (a wood-made kind of box).
After all of us arrived safely on the other side, the hard climbing began. With the help of the guides, who held our hands for crossing, one later hour, all 0f us successfully arrived on our final destination, a very nice lagoon with a beautiful waterfall and which was a perfect refreshing spot. We all went swimming because we were hot and exhausted.

As soon as we started our way back, it started to rain like crazy, but fortunately we could use huge leaves as umbrellas, which at least kept our heads for a while kind of dry... But of course, by the time we arrived to where the car was, we all were completely soaked. Nevertheless, we all were in a very good mood. Right after having a delicious dinner, we started playing cards and had lot of fun, and our nice hosts spoiled us with delicious cocktails.

The following morning, we had two choices: tubing or horseback riding. The majority went tubing, and two of us decided to go horseback riding. On the end, all of the activities were amazing, and after lunch, we already had to go home. After a five hours drive, we arrived in Quito very tired, but very happy at the same time.