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Location: The Andes

 

Awakened by the sun coming through the triangular window in the bunkhouse, my day started with a cup local tea on the yoga room porch as I watched the sunrise over the eastern mountains at 6:41 A.M. As the group gathered in the lodge for breakfast the same daily questions were asked. Any weird dreams? Anyone sick?! and so on. When our open back trucks arrived we hopped in and we were underway to Quiloatoa, a giant crater formed when a volcano erupted a long time ago and is now filled with a lake. The view was breathtaking with turquoise water protected by the precarious peaks of the outer edge of the crater.

Our hike began along the edge of the crater, every view was a picture perfect moment. Whether it was of the crater or the landscape of the Andes on the other side. Once we began our descent/climb back to the Black Sheep Inn the hike grew harder. We walked through fields of purple, yellow and red wildflowers and beside fields of cows and sheep but throughout the hike a vertical incline or down climb was not abnormal. Besides these circumstances we carried on and not a single complaint was uttered among the “Tribe”. Instead everyone chattered on enthusiastically about where we were going and what we were doing. The dynamic of the group has a positive attitude toward challenges. When one approaches everyone overcomes it no matter what form it comes in. This is a constant theme for our group. As we wrapped up the last steps of the hike the feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming and broadcast on the faces of everyone in a beaming smile. We did it. 8 miles. From mountain tops to valleys and back again we accomplished the physical and mental hardship as a group, team and family. Happy Fourth everyone!