Evening y’all. This blog will begin with the truth ~ so you might wish to stop here if you can’t HANDLE THE TRUTH. I, Sam Plavins, was super sick in the middle of this night. Damn it! It started out around 1:30 am with full-blown nausea and other lovely stuff, which required the scrounging up of any plastic bag or disposable vessel we could lay our hands on. It was one of those creeper sicknesses, the kind where you’re not sure if it’s all in your head and by the time you reconcile those thoughts you’re body’s already doubled over in pain. Needless to say our lil’ casita was up most of the night. In fact, nobody was able to really sleep. Later, I learned that it might be 100% altitude related, even though we aren’t really that high at all. The sleeplessness of the rest of my peeps and my sickness could be best explained by this and the fact that our bodies have been yo-yoing around from sea level to 2,500M. Whatever it is/was, thank GOD it is over. I am not a good sickie.

With Joaquin’s feedback, we called an audible and cancelled our big hike. 🙁 I tried my best to be a good little doobie and just rest, relax, chill. And yet, I couldn’t. Could. Not. Having sent the girls and Alvi off to enjoy some horse-back riding, I convinced Joaquin to take me on a *mini* hike. For four hours, we took our time weaving through a well-trodden path, slowly gaining elevation and kibitzing along in our respective broken 2nd languages. It was awesome! On our return trip back, we took the paved road and who should wave us over to the side of a light blue pick-up truck?  None other than Alvi. ???!!! At the time I was thinking, “how does this guy now get to drive in Ecuador and where’d the truck come from???”


Post-sickness, pre-hike selfie.


The gang with their cowboy about to set off.

As it turns out, they were just getting back from their epic horse-back riding adventure and had been gone all that time. So, 5 hours on horses. There are some pretty sore bums in this joint! Alvi in particular was walking like he had just endured an enema of sorts. Apparently, Saffy was an absolute trooper and rode that horse (Alejandro) like nobody’s business. Wind-burnt cheeks and all, they had an absolute blast. I’m so happy they were able to take that time together and enjoy the fresh, crisp air and each other.


Their guide, Juan Jose.


Little Saffita way up ahead.


Tiniest church in the middle of nowhere along the trail.


Ultimate destination… “El Palto” waterfalls”


Piper in the foreground.


Loving her horse, as she calls him “Alahadro”


Ecuadorian traffic jam. Too many cows on the ridge lol.


Getting along so well these days…


Piper lured in this beautiful mariposa.


My sweet teenager…


Saffita with Alahadro, as she calls him!


Her horse had an attitude. His name was “Trigger”. A fine choice for my girl, lol.


2 thumbs up for this sign!!!


We’ve had rainbows everyday. Caught by Alvis post-ride.


Taken by me at the end of the hike with Joaquin; and it hung there for 2 hours!