20 February 2008

72 Hour countdown...

It's less than 72 hours before take-off on the journey to Ecuador.
What was to be an adventure of a lifetime, will be somewhat of a
non-adventure, thanks to Tungurahua. Initially, we were to fly into Quito on January 23rd and leave the next day for Baños. This quaint town in the Andes is the jumping off point for trips to the Amazon area. The highlight was to be a river trip out into the Amazon jungle, carrying portable distillers, to distill essential oils from the native amazon plants. Our guide was to be a shaman from a local village who would have explained the medicinal properties of the amazon plants. This man will still talk to us about the plants, but it will be in a five star hotel in Guayaquil instead of in his local village. Loses something, don't you think? The river-rafting trip that was also planned from the Baños area won't be happening either.

Tungurahua is the rumbling giant who cradles Baños in its foothills. Apparently, the volcano has been sputtering and erupting periodically for at least six months, but it began belching violently a few weeks ago. The organizers of our trip decided to cancel this portion of the itinerary when the road to Baños was closed. I guess they didn't want any injured or dead adventurers on their hands! Lightweights...!

According to the new itinerary, we will now leave Quito immediately and early on Sunday morning and drive the eight hours to Guayaquil in a bus. The journey should take around eight hours and is reported to be a beautiful drive. We will stop along the way for "Kodak moments". Yippee. During our stay in Guayaquil, we will experience essential oil trainings, for which we have received a shipment of oils. We will also go out to the Young Living farm to see the fields, help them do some distilling at the new distillery, check out the
archeological site that was discovered on the property and generally slog around in the mud (thunder storms are expected).

It should be hot and rainy - typical weather for the ecuator.

Hopefully, we will have opportunities to explore in our spare time. With any luck there will be unexpected events and unanticipated pleasures.

Where's Indiana when you need him?

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