Jan 27 – After a day of rest, today was a day for action! We had an early breakfast and set out for El Valle’s most famous hike, up La India Dormida. Although the reviews called the hike ‘challenging, steep, rocky, and moderate to difficult’, Jim assured me that it would be no problem for an experienced hiker like me. Famous last words.
We walked all the way through town, then down a road another mile to the start of the trail.
Jim climbed back down, all happy, and we ate our lunch on the bench. You might think that scrabbling down is easier than climbing up, and sometimes you’d be right, but the muscles at the front of my thighs had already given all they had to give, and our descent was painfully slow.
We finally made it down, then only had to walk one more mile to get back home. It was a long mile! We stopped halfway for a strawberry ice cream cone, which made me feel better, then home for a hot shower, which made me feel better still.
Jan 26 – Happy birthday to our Lexi, 12 years old today! Baba and Grandad love you forever.
Who knew that sitting on a bus could make you so tired? Maybe it’s the higher elevation? Or maybe we’re just slowing down to vacation pace. We decided to take it easy today and see what there was to see in town.
We were drinking our morning coffee in bed (Jim, the best husband ever, brings me coffee in bed every morning, no matter where we are), when it got suddenly quiet. On this beautiful, sunny morning, the electricity went out! I wonder how often we should expect this? And how long will it last?
Our two burner stove works on propane, and there’s only cold water in the tap anyway, so there was really no impact. Jim made us a yummy breakfast that we ate in our outdoor dining room. I washed the dishes, heating up a pot of hot water for the final rinse. We know how to do this!
El Valle is a tourist town. It’s located inside the crater of an ancient volcano, with green peaks and ridges surrounding it in every direction. Less than 10 years ago, the streets were unpaved and the offerings few, but the perfect climate (high of 80, low of 65 consistently every day) and the lure of nearby mountain hiking made this a destination town.
Now the main street is paved and lit, with sidewalks and a bike path. Italian restaurants (pizza and pasta) proliferate, although there are eateries of many kinds: Chinese, Peruvian, Colombian, Thai, and Creole. There are several well-stocked supermarkets, and a variety of things to do and see.
The most famous mountain is La India Dormida, the Sleeping Indian. Can you see her below, her head on the right with green hair flowing?
As we walked, we kept looking in shops to see if the electricity had returned, but no bueno. The supermercados had generators to keep the cold food cases cold, which was a good thing.
Jim made supper a little early, because we weren’t sure how we would see our way around the apartment once the sun went down. Then, hallelujah! The electricity was back and we ran inside to recharge all our devices and take a warm shower. It doesn’t take much to make us happy these days!