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Betty and her husband picked us up this morning with their kids for our weekend away with the family. Mateo and Maria Paula were awfully shy, and wouldn’t speak to us for the first hour or so, but Paula eventually warmed up to us, and I was able to practice Spanish with her. She is learning English, so it was fun for both of us to practice. We drove to Cotopaxi and Marcelo took us with Maria Paula to hike to the refuge. We started around 14,000 feet and hiked to 15,000 feet. Of course we both felt sick and dizzy the whole time, seeing as we were at sea level just the day before. I guess it really would have helped to acclimatize a little! After some tea, we got to run down the loose volcano stones to our warm car waiting for us. We then ate at a little typical restaurant on the way to Quilotoa, and had, amongst other things, four different kinds of corn on our plates. It was unfortunately very dark and foggy when we headed to Quilotoa, and the road was extremely high (around 14,000 feet) and windy. Marcelo did an amazing job driving and got us to the village safely, even though we couldn’t see much of anything through the fog. Mom and I were both still feeling the altitude, so after a cup of tea, we went to bed in our little room. The indigenous tribe had little hostel-style accommodations for us to stay in, and while they were rustic, we still slept quite well.

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