It’s actually Day 16 as I write this, and for the life of me it took awhile to figure out where we were and what we did yesterday — an occupational hazard of travel, I gather! It’s been a whirlwind, that’s for sure. I’ve concluded that yesterday we must have left Cuenca and were shooting for the town of Riobamba, in the province of Chimborazo. Yup, that sounds about right!

A quick 45 minutes into our drive we made a detour to Ingapilca — an ancient Incan Ruins site with the only oval shaped Sun Temple in their entire kingdom. Now, ruins aren’t really my cup of tea, but as far as making my husband happy, he was all “giddy-up!!!” and such. It turned out to be actually quite fascinating once we were able to sneak away from the Spanish-speaking guide and catch up with the English dude. Hey, if you’re going to walk around stone after stone you might as well know what they mean! My single focus throughout this excursion was trying to keep Saffy alive and quiet. She was freezing, hungry, whiney, outspoken and bored. “Even if I wasn’t cold and hungry, Mommy, I still would not like this!!!”, she exclaimed in no uncertain terms in front of our entire group. In the words of my friend Lisa, she gets points for speaking her truth! Piggy back rides ensued and as though by osmosis, I then also began to get ridiculously hungry. Sam “The Demon” soon emerged and when she unleashes the beast, peeps better take shelter asap! Both the wee one and I had to slip out the back to forage for a snack before someone lost an arm or a leg. Fortunately, the tour ended shortly thereafter and we met up with Joaquin who had patiently sat in his car while we were enlightened and informed. To my great relief, he had scoped out a place for us to eat just 1 minute away; there, we had THE MOST AMAZING FOOD EVER, for $3. I think I even hugged Joaquin when we were done I was just so elated to have eaten and the food was FANTASTIC!


Cute little church captured enroute.


Clouds starting to roll in.


Part of the Inca Trail, at Ingapilcen.


The stunning temple. Built some 545 years ago.


Beauty in their construction.


That was the most she smiled the entire time.


The stones used for the temple itself were stacked together with no mud, no concrete, just nothing. The genius was the manner in which they staggered them.


At the top of the temple.


Piper actually really liked this tour. She was right into it!


By this time, Saffy and I were foraging for food.


A crisp but beautiful day.

Back to the car we went for more thrilling twists and turns, this time through the clouds! At one point, we all hung our arms out of the car and could feel the cold dampness of said clouds. The kids were enthralled over the concept of actually “touching them”. Much of the ride was spent oohing and ahhing and then the kids decided they would take every opportunity to “chirp” their mom. They made up a song involving a small sample of the overtly-ridiculous things I have done over the years (that they know of) and to our delight proceeded to sing it over and over again. It included such moments as asking a cop if he’d ever arrested anyone, wondering if the hotel in St. Pete’s, Florida had a monorail, stuffing my eldest full of what I thought were jellybeans (caffeine beans — oops) before a gym competition, pushing my sister out of a car on the way to school one day (epic fight in grade 13), and most recently wondering if Cuenca had an airport. Shoot me now, it’s quite a catchy tune and comes with complimentary jazz hands by Alvi!


Clouds starting to roll in. We were at 10,000 feet here.


Aren’t they cool?!


A patchwork of fields — almost like a painting while we were driving.


Waking up at a pit stop. And not wanting to get out due to the cold.


Stopped at the oldest church in Ecuador just outside of Riobamba.


Our first mostly-covered glimpse of Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador at 20,500 ft. Riobamba lies in a valley at its feet.

Eventually we made it to Riobamba. And after a lovely pizza dinner (we’re eating a lot of this these days lol) and two glasses of wine, we returned to our VERY QUIET hotel and collapsed into bed. Nobody moved all night — bodies still in complete disrepair from the Karaoke Die Hards the previous two nights.