We get up at the crack of dawn, eat a breakfast of toast, jam, scrambled eggs and juice and get on our way. An hour drive brings us to the trail head and we begin what is essentially Day 2 of our trek in the Ecaudor Adventure program.
The landscape is from another world. We're at over 12,000 feet above sea level, and wispy clouds cover and uncover bluffs and mountains around us. At one point, we hike about an hour through a boggy basin. What makes the experience almost bizzare is are these clumps of flowers that look like moss. You have to step on them and they squish down nearly six inches when you do. It reminds me of walking on snow, and after an hour, I'm glad we head to dryer ground.
We pass two small lakes before overnighting on the shores of third lake. I thought I was camping, but food that night included an herb buttered chicken breast, local potatoes and sauted veggies - and a bottle of wine. Man, was I grateful to the cook for bringing that.
As a note, the night got much colder than I thought it would. I suppose the temperature dropped to around 40, but with the humidity, it felt much colder than that. I wore long-johns and a ski hat to bed that night.