Sunday, November 7, 2010

Now We're Travelin'

We got a call this morning from the son of the owner of the apart/hotel we're staying at right now. He also owns the guide and outfitting business next door. He was going climbing with his kids and we had told him earlier we'd love to meet up with him sometime for that. (Piper is an eager and able climber.)

We knew we had people coming over to our place at 3:30 in the afternoon and asked if the climb he was proposing allowed us enough time to get back for that. Yes, he said, you can just walk over to a bus from where we'd be and get right back into Cuenca.

The first indication that we might have been well to push our afternoon appointment back was the great rocky mountain he pointed out through the windshield of his truck as we drove toward it. "We're going to climb that." You mean that mountain waaaaaaaay over there? Uh huh.

Second indication was the way to "walk over to a bus" that he pointed out...while still driving to the climb. It looked to be a 10-15 minute walk from the path he pointed out...once you walked 15 minutes from the climb to get to that path. Umkay.

Next sign was the rope they had to set for us to hold order to get to the climb. It was a severe pitch on that rock, and only epiphyte-type plants clung to the rock, which we in turn clung to, hoping they had a better grip than the piles of vegetation at the bottom that had previously come down in a “green slide” (maybe had already given way beneath someone?).

In the end Diana and Duncan never made the trek with the rope, which for our two less-graceful family members made us all feel better. And only Piper had time to climb, but she did a remarkable job, climbing 30 meters and clearing quick draws as she went.

But once down we bushwhacked back down the face of the mountain, leaving our escorts to get their climbing in, and began our 25 minute "walk over to the bus." Our timing was pretty good, as we just got to the bus stop when the heaviest of the rain came. We huddled under a canopy of a lady selling fried food in a mobile setup for another 20 minutes waiting for the right bus. We took that bus down that mountain to another village where we had to get another bus back to Cuenca. From there we took a taxi to our hotel.

Being unable to contact our imminently arriving guests, get faster transportation, or in any way influence our situation, we could not bring ourselves to stress out (though “I told you so” can be a great stress reliever for a wife). And miraculously, though 37 minutes late, our guests ended up having their own adventure trying to find our hotel and themselves arrived 45 minutes late. So we still got home right before they showed up.

And this is exactly the kind of experience Diana and I have had many of that helped us become the laid back and flippant (respectively) people that we are today. It’s good to remember what matters and what’s worth worrying about.

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