Hola a todos!
I spent this week in Quito, but it was far from boring! On Thursday, a group of us went to a Persian restaurant for Shawarma (This was even better than the Turkey Shawarma at SNC, so that’s saying something.), and then we saw the movie, Thor. This was the first time in a long time where my entire group of friends was able to spend time together, so we had an amazing night.
On Friday, I went on a mini adventure to Parque Metropolitano. It’s a ecological reserve in the middle of Quito—filled with tons of hiking paths and trees. It was shocking because I’ve never seen nature like this in the city. I fell in love with this park! Not only was it beautiful, but the air was clean (contrary to the smog problem in Quito), and it reminded me of going hiking back home in the summertime. Needless to say, I was a bit sad walking home, especially since I got hit by waves of black exhaust from the passing cars and buses.
On Saturday, I crossed off a major bucket list item for me—hiking Rucu Pichincha in Quito. I have been meaning to hike this mountain for the longest time, since it is right in Quito, but I haven’t had the chance until now. To complete this hike, you simply have to take the Teleférico up to the top, and then start walking. For the first two hours, the hike was both gorgeous and manageable.
The last hour, however, was very difficult. I basically had to scale a ginormous sand dune. For every three steps I took, I slid down two. Once I got past the sand, I then had to climb over rocks to make it to the summit. This was extra challenging given the fact that I was surrounded by clouds, so the visibility was not great. In the end, though, I made it to the top: over 15, 400 ft! I have fallen in love with hiking. People who know me know that I am always up for a good challenge. Hiking like this is both mentally and physically difficult, and that is why I love it! Nothing feels better to me than summiting a mountain; I can’t really describe it. I hope to do more hikes during my final weeks in Ecuador. They have been one of the highlights of living here, in my opinion.
Sunday, I just had a lovely relaxation day. I went on a run/walk, and then I stopped by one of my favorite cafes for a mocha, so that I could work on some homework. Afterwards, I went to a little market to buy some fruit. The rest of the day was spent reading and Facetiming with friends and family. I love days like these.
That sums up this week. I can’t believe I have less than six weeks left here. I am ready to see my friends and family, but I still have so much more sightseeing to do before I get on my plane. Stay tuned!