Ok so this will be a short post I promise. I just didn’t want to add anymore to the last one, because it ended up being so long. But Quito was so great, we could have split it into two blogs, and probably should have.
When we left Quito Saturday morning, we headed to Cuenca again, our final stop on the way home. My friend Nathan had set up a guys trip to hike overnight in the nearby Cajas national park, something I had been excited about for weeks! Parque Nacional Cajas is a park high in the mountains in southern Ecuador, just west of Cuenca. The park ranges 10,000 to 14,500 feet high, and is a complete wilderness. Some of you may remember that we passed through this park our first week, when we drove from Guayaquil to Loja. It was where we saw the wild Lamas. Sunday morning we got up early and a couple of brothers met us and we drove up to the park. About a 30 minute drive, and we were there. We thought it was going to be a 4 hour hike, but it ended up only taking 2 and a half hours. It was mostly downhill on the way in, which accounts for the shorter trip. The park is spectacular, rugged green mountains dotted with lovely blue lakes and streams, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. We found a nice spot next to a lake and set up camp. It was pretty normal camping conditions, except it was difficult to start a fire in such wet conditions, and in the high altitude. But we managed. The next day we hiked out, and this time being that it was more uphill, it took us the 4 hours. It got quite steep at times, but we made it out, albeit pretty exhausted.
All in all our vacation was pretty amazing. We loved spending time with the friends here in Ecuador. They are all so accommodating and friendly, a testament to this wonderful worldwide brotherhood. We also were astounded by the natural beauty we were blessed to see. Ecuador is really an amazing country. Everywhere we went we were reminded of Jehovah’s awesome power in the beautiful creation around us. How loving it was for him to provide this beautiful earth for us, and how wonderful it will be when it is clean both physically, and spiritually, filled with the kind of people we have met here, only then we will all be perfect. But for now this was a pretty great vacation, and we felt it just what we needed to feel refreshed and ready to keep going in our assignment. But the next week we got something else that was really what we needed! We’ll tell you about that next.