This morning we piled into a van with John and Cara plus Stormy and Avery, who joined us for the rest of our trip. The Georgians parted ways with us last night and will finish their trip with 2 days in Mindo instead of staying in the Galapagos. Our destination for the day was the Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico volcanos, which are both part of the same mountain. We would hike up to the caldera of Sierra Negra, then around and over the other side through lava fields to Volcan Chico where we had a beautiful view overlooking the ocean.
It was drizzly at the trailhead and remained that way all the way up. Unfortunately that meant we couldn’t see the large caldera (7.2 x 9.3 km), because it was completely filled with fog but it kept the trail damp which (we were told) can get extremely dusty when it is dry.
The next morning, we had breakfast before meeting with Tomas for a tour of Quito. Neither of us had seen Tomas since graduating, so it was fantastic to catch up after so long! We started by meandering through churches and beautiful public squares in the Old Town portion of Quito.
All the hard parts of getting married are finally behind us: planning (although we had quite a bit of help), writing and delivering vows, dancing, breaking the piggy bank, and, quite possibly the worst of all, going back to work for a few days between the wedding and the honeymoon. Throughout all of this, we had been looking forward to 10 days of adventuring and relaxing in Quito and the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador), and the day finally arrived for our honeymoon! “Luna de Miel” is the literal translation of “Honey Moon” in Spanish.
We arrived early at the track for our races; mine was first at 9am and Rachel’s was second-to-last at 1:30pm. It was chilly to start, but the sky was clear so we were thankful for a nicer day than last week at Fruitland’s. After dressing up and registering, we got on the track to warm up but less than half way through the first practice lap, Rachel got a flat tire and became a bit frazzled. It wasn’t the best start to the day, but it was all uphill from there.