Dec 5, 2009

Banos, Ecuador 2009

Banos, Ecuador: Round 5. Thanksgiving 2009. Check it out:

A bridge, rope, small ledge.................. bungee jump!
There are no pictures to show of me in action due to the photographers looking to see if I was alive instead of actually taking pictures. Seriously, I jumped!
The bike posse rides again

Wind, high elevation with drop off, parachute with many little strings attached to a seat, bright colored flight suites............. paragliding. Here we are, psyched to fly
Jeremy in action
Danielle practicing her take off
Danielle taking the big plunge
Danielle was able to fly over the valley for 20 minutes with the volcano in the background
This is me taking the last flight of the evening. The winds had died down so we had to land in a freshly plowed field down in the valley. Power lines, cattle and little kids trying to catch us were only a few of the hazards
Next up...... canyoning
Here I am repelling down the last waterfall of the day. We navigated 4 water falls which included cliff jumping, a zip line, natural slides and repelling
Ray working the zip line
Living the good life, pre-flight.

Nov 15, 2009

Cabin Fever

Last weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to Leo and Andrea's cabin near Cuenca, and we had an excellent time. Check it out:
It doesn't get any better then this! The cabin is a hand built, stone home with 4 bedrooms, on 15 acres in the Andes Mtns with a garden, river and trails. Dreamy!
The cabin is only 6 k away from Cajas National Park.
D pulling a rock star move on top of this slide in Cuenca
Good times with friends- Andrea, Jeremy, Eddie and Rocky (the dogs).

Cold weather, a fire and s'mores
After crossing the river, Jeremy and I found a trail that took us along the hill side to this vantage point:

D spending the afternoon at the river
After our hike, we came back to the house and gardened with a local family who came over to help us out.
It was an amazing trip, full of great adventures and friends. Thanks again Andrea and Leo.

Nov 7, 2009

Mindo, Ecuador

Mindo, another adventure playground in the cloud forests of Ecuador. Our good friend, Jeremy (also known as Golden Wolf- long story that includes a hat with wolves embroidered in gold and late night howling), joined us on the trip, which was full of hiking, zip-lines, butterfly gardens, bird watching, riding on top of chivas, in the back of trucks, eating and reading. Check it out:

Yes, that's D in the restaurant of our hotel, doing what she does best, reading.
The hammock and view from our balcony made it hard to even leave the hostal
I'll take any friend I can get
One thing I love about Ecuador is all the cable cars. They never get old. We took this cable car across the canyon to get to the trails and waterfalls. No release forms needed and you had the choice to stand on the ledge outside of the cart. D nixed that idea.
We were lucky enough to have the trail and waterfall to ourselves.
Now, that's a fun crew!
The next day, Jeremy and I did the zip-lines, which was 13 lines zig-zagging across multiple hill sides. The views were beautiful as we floated over the tree canopy.
Legs up, head back and press down on the cable with leather glove to stop. Only one of the guys in our group wasn't able to stop in time and ran into the tree. It was padded.
After the zip-lines, we dragged D away from her book and went to the butterfly garden.

Living the good life!

Oct 21, 2009

A New Look

Or is it an old look that is new again? It's been 1 year to the month since my last hair cut. Check it out:

She still loves me! After taking a vote with the 6th grade class, 16 of the 17 kids liked the long hair better. I think the other was a sympathy vote.

Oct 14, 2009

Cotopaxi-Quilotoa Ecuador

Last weekend we took advantage of our first three day vacation and flew to Quito for another mountain biking adventure in the Andes Mountains. We had 7 great friends join us for the two day adventure and we were able to experience some amazing places in this beautiful country. Check it out:
The adventure started at the top of Mount Cotopaxi, over 15,000 ft and the tallest active volcano in the world. Seriously, that's high.
Little D rocking the moonscape

All together we had a group of 16 riding through this wild landscape
No, those aren't shorts left behind by the last guest at this sketchy hostel, they were there to cover the vent. Classy! We had a group of 5 in 1 room, the bathroom door wouldn't stay closed and there was no shower curtain. Needless to say, we all got an extra 10 minutes of sleep by not showering. Classic.
Much of day 2 was riding through farmland as we descended back into a small market town. Having a chance to see the everyday life of the farmers was a personal favorite, that and having some of the little village kids along the way throw rocks at us. They were all smiles and waves just until you were about to pass them and then, whamooo! "Welcome to my village". Cute kids.
The Saturday market was full of all the usual Ecuadorian offerings: clothes, art, unidentifiable food, stray dogs and wonderful people.
Laguna Quilotoa was the main destination for us this trip. It is a spectacular crater lake within the Andes Mountains. We woke up early and hiked near the crater rim as the sun was rising.

Now that's pretty
Yep, that's the real deal........guinea pig! Check out the 3 little piggies in the background.
It tasted a lot like an old leather hiking boot seasoned with garlic, onions and mystery juices. D-licious.
Still living the good life!