Thursday October 20, 2011
This morning I joined my new friends Conor and Emer for a ride up the Teleferico, the tram that takes you up to a point of 4050 meters with amazing views of the city. From there we climbed another even higher. At times I felt I was going to keel over and die, the air was so thin and my legs hurt so much. But Conor and Emer were amazing and kept me going til I was just done. They kept going, and when I finally turned around to head back down, the clouds parted and sun beamed down on Quito below us.
I am pretty sure that no matter what, I am going to return home in better shape than I left! But at the same time, today's adventure wiped me out for the entire day. I felt sick for the entire afternoon and the exhaustion was hard to deal with. I've been exhausted before, but nothing like this. But I am so proud of myself for what I have done so far in only two days. I am so glad that I gave myself time, so that on these days where my mornings wipe me out for the afternoon I don't feel like I am behind schedule. I have no schedule. And it's marvelous.
I've been having a blast practicing my Spanish with the various taxi drivers I have encountered. Today I conversed the entire ride back to my hostel from the Teleferico! Granted, most of it was asking him to slow down or repeat what he asked and then trying to remember the correct vocabulary to express what I wanted to say in reply... but it was great! And he was grinning ear to ear the entire time.
I ate dinner with friends here at the hostel, and afterwards the four of us pulled out what change we had in our pockets and decided a game of poker was in order! Five cent minimum bid, game was Texas Hold Em. We played for a couple of hours, and I claimed victory at the end because I was the only one of us to end up with a dollar coin from the pot. :)
A group of us decided we wanted to head up to La Mitad del Mundo tomorrow. So we've got transportation arranged for the five of us, and we're heading out at 9:30. The equator is a tourist trap, but who cares? It'll be fun. And the people I am heading up with are a riot. I'll write more later about some of the people I have been spending time with down here. But for now it is bedtime. Good night!