This week was as much of an antithesis to the last week or so as one could expect. No guests, no going out, no late nights, no eating out -- just A and I, sans guests, hanging out at home, cooking our own meals, going to the gym, and trying to figure out the next chapter of our lives.
This monotony (or bucolic existence, depending on your point of view) was shaken up on Friday, when we went to Gogi's (my friend Dan's mother) house to watch slides of her various biking adventures -- the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, a trip around the Quebec penninsula, and a ride around Moab. I didn't think it would be all that much fun, but it was (and I really want to say neat here, but who says neat these days? or cool?) -- interesting.
Spent Saturday night out with Dan and a "girl" friend of his at a new micro brewery, discovering that the problem with Ecuadorian beer is a dirth of hops - they just don't have any, or all that much, and it's taking away from any kind of micro-brews. I guess you can make a decent, cheap pilsner without that much hops, but that's about it. All the beers were flat.
We grilled Dan on some local or relatively close by hikes that we could do on Sunday. Unfortunately, asking someone who thinks mountain or road biking over 100 km before 9 am is a good start to the day for input into easy hikes in the area is not always the best idea. I mean, there are weekend warriors, and then there are weekend warriors. We consider ourselves to be weekend tourists.
Regardless, we were able to make our way on Sunday (and miss the game, which the Redskins pulled out of the bag against a winless Lions. As I've said before, have they won by more than 7 points this year?) to papallacta - a little town almost directly east of Quito that is on the edge of the mountain range, before it decends down into the jungle. We did a couple hour hike through some spectacular landscape - high ridges, plunging views, waterfalls and high plains lagoons throughout. It was a gorgeous walk.
Pictures that do not do the environment any justice at all will be forthcoming, either from me or from A.
We spent the afternoon in the hot springs for which the town is famous. It was an alright experience - I loved soaking in various hot pools - but I think both of us are not really into crowds, or any other people for that matter. Nor are we those who like to spend hours upon hours in a hot tub, soaking (not that there's anything wrong with that). Still - it was fun, and felt great after a hike, and made everyone incredibly drowsy on the hour long ride home through winding, hilly roads through pouring rain (of course).