I knew that nearly anything could happen out at Lee and Susan's casita in the wild. It could rain for the three days that we planned and we'd be playing a lot of scrabble and triominoes. We may or may not get a ride back to civilization on the planned return date. The primitive road could wash out leaving transport impossible. We'd be eating beans and rice. We'd be three days without a shower after grubbing in our earthy ways.
What the heck! A change of pace is always good and God knows I'm anally (retentive) routine oriented. Rachel knows this too. In our nearly two year marriage we'd never spent a night apart other than her trips back to visit her family. Her encouragement to go was all I needed to realize this would be good for the both of us. I could tell that she savored having the house to herself to complete her creative projects uninterrupted by me. I could leave with Lee guilt free. I also knew that even beans and rice would taste good when we got hungry. Lee and I would smell equally rank as well.
In the last moment Lee's good friend Tim decided to join us also. They are the two tallest people in Cotacachi and are quite the spectacle when paired together, especially on a bus with no other gringos. On our trip out there I got to know Tim and enjoyed exchanging war stories about our home construction. Tim and Mary have a really lovely home in a different development and Tim was adamant about getting everything right in his build. That takes enormous perseverance and I learned much from him.
When we arrived in Cuellaje two hours later we were a bit stiff from the two hour rumble over the foggy mountain pass where angels regularly keep the buses from careening off the edge to a certain demise. We're used to the mountain angels keeping watch over us now so Lee was dozing and Tim and I were animated in our conversation. The angels were really busy though.
Tim decided to stay in the hostel in Cuellaje. Later he thumbed a ride out to Lee's abode where we had already received an invitation from the Ayala family to join them on a hike up to their mountain retreat the next day. Lee knows the Ayalas well and had always wanted to see their primitive hideout so we gladly accepted their invitation. Tim wasn't sure whether it would work out for him to be out to Lee's house early in the morning so he bowed out of this adventure. I'm sure that Tim saved himself some really sore muscles in that decision but he missed an adventure that Lee and I will always remember.
|Standing left to right is Wilman Jr, Jennifer, Marlene, and Erica. Wilman Sr. was busy with his caballo at the moment and unavailable for a photo. We had but two horses to ride and the mujeres didn't seem to want to ride when offered.|