Location: Andes Mountains

Waking up was bittersweet today, knowing this is our last day of doing actual activities. The sickness spreading through all of us has died down a little, now only Faris and Soo had to stay back with a mild cold. After a quick breakfast, we all packed into the back of trucks and made our way to a town called Quilotoa. There we faced harsh winds and the coldest temperatures so far on this trip. All of us kind of looked like misshaped marshmallows, but I think we pulled it off. Our first stop was a little market, where people bought sweaters, hats, sunglasses, anything to help them warm up.

When we were finished, we all headed through the sandstorm to quite possibly the prettiest view I’ve ever seen. It was just a lake, but the mountains that surrounded it and the fact that the water shimmered in the sunlight made it amazing. We seized the perfect photo opportunity before starting our hike to Guayamas. The up-hill portions of the hike didn’t help much with my already sore body, and sand particles were still attacking my eyes, but once again, the views made it all worth it. The mountains were so beautiful but almost indescribable, (look at the pictures to see) trust me. So beautiful. After 2 hours or so, we took a break for lunch. We were joined by a family whose farmland we were seated at, and their amazingly trained dog Shakira. She was only five months old but was so much more behaved than my year-old dog. From there it was a walk straight down, and a truck rides back to the Black Sheep Inn.

Our work for the day wasn’t over, as soon as we got back we all got a set of note cards to write to every person on our trip. Some of us started writing right away in the dining area, while others decided to put it off until later, and instead played darts, cribbage, relaxed in the sauna, took a nap, or talked with friends. That’s all that happened until dinnertime, (I don’t know what it was but it was good) and until we all gathered in the yoga studio for our last group forum.

The forum was called seed and stone, and the idea was to reflect on the past three weeks and pick out something that you figured out about yourself and want to grow on (seed) and something you want to leave behind (stone). I learned a lot about everyone during this. I feel like we all got even closer. Then we all parted ways and went to bed, knowing there was a long travel day ahead of us.

(Pictures of our Quilotoa hike in the previous post)