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Monday, January 1, 2007

Bus ride to the Black Sheep Inn

Our trip to the Black Sheep Inn started far earlier in the morning than we'd all have liked, primarily since we'd been up far too late the night before... Sharon was teaching us all how to play bridge. I think we were up until around 2 am or so... This picture on the left is from the day before, before we started playing cards. We've all been enjoying having some time off and getting to just goof around for a while. And drink mimosas, too.

We left at about 7:15am, without making any breakfast, so I took my papaya with me. It was ripe and ready to eat right then, and would never have made it on the counter until we got back. With such a large and tasty papaya, what else could I do but bring it along for the ride?!

They all laughed at me for bringing it. Susan was roughhousing with it and put a finger into it. I had to remind her that papayas are not toys; they are tasty breakfasts.

This is the funky bus we rode to Latacunga. We were all so tired we slept most of the way, so there's not any interesting pictures to show you. When we got to Latacunga we had to change buses, and I went and rustled up a plastic spoon. It took a while to skin the papaya with a spoon, but I was successful.

The next bus we took was a lot less comfortable than the first. The roads were cobblestone for a good portion, dirt for a good bit and the rest were bumpy for other reasons. Even still, we still caught up on a little sleep along the way:

The bus from Latacunga was less fancy than the first one, since it travels along a loop around the Quilatoa mountain/volcano/crater, which is in a very rural area. Buses aren't nearly as frequent as in other places, and the people that use them carry all sorts of things with them. In one small town we visited, there was a small crowd out, waiting for the bus. Everyone was milling around, checking on their packages that were stored on top of the bus...and one delivery was a new whiteboard, probably for the school.

This is the sort of countryside that we traveled through on the way...it was just beautiful. The corridor between the Andes is just incredibly beautiful, with steep roads and plunging valleys. The bus rides are pretty exciting sometimes, too, what with the sliding in the mud and giant potholes and all.

We knew that we were in shared rooms for the first night (it's a pretty popular place) but what we didn't expect is that the four of us would be sharing the 10x12' room with two other people, too! After dinner we were so tired we really couldn't be worried and packed into our little beds.

We needed to get a good nights' sleep, since we had some big hiking plans for the next day...

...which we'll post later!

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