Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sometimes Words Are Better

Picture this.  I link my arm with Dean’s and he leans into me.  He is weak and unsteady.  His eyes are barely focusing as I lead him, shuffling, to the truck where Jorge and Abby are waiting.  I help him as he slowly lowers himself into the front passenger seat and then join Abby in the back.  Jorge eases the truck into traffic.  Dean is curled into himself, arms cradling his head.  With every small bump he moans.   We have at least three hours of moaning ahead of us, if not more.  I see Jorge look over at Dean with a deeply furrowed brow and his already tense shoulders stiffen a little bit more.   Abby and I look at each other with worry.  Jorge drives slowly to avoid any jostling and resulting moaning but some bumps are unavoidable and the highway has lots of tight curves.   I don’t think Dean even realizes he is making those sounds.  After a while Abby tells Jorge to drive fast and just get us there.  That was our last day in Ecuador.

But the day before our last day in Ecuador was great.  Other than the fact that I never seem to believe Abby when she says I need to bring something warm to wear.  It’s Ecuador.  Who needs warm clothes?  We all did.  Because we visited Cajas National Park which is somewhere between 10,000 and 14,000 feet high and it’s cold.  It’s bone-chilling cold.  It’s what the heck was I thinking by not bringing anything warm to wear cold.  It’s I don’t care if I look stupid wearing this sweater on my head cold. 

 But it’s also very beautiful.  

Before we left for Ecuador I printed maps of the trails within the park thinking we’d do some hiking.  But hiking is not as enjoyable when your teeth are chattering.   And it’s hard to keep your balance on a trail when your arms are wrapped around your body like you are in a perpetual self-hug.  

But if I am ever in this park again and I have listened to Abby and brought something to keep the rain off as well as my winter boots and ski pants and multiple layers of sweaters and a real coat and ear bands and scarves and mittens and hand warmers and wool socks and it’s not snowing or raining … I’m going hiking. 

After our mini-hike we took our frozen bodies to a restaurant for lunch not far from the park


where the first thing they bring you is a warm alcoholic drink so you can stop shivering long enough to hold a menu.  

But I was so frozen that trying to warm my body with one small drink was like trying to melt a glacier with a blow torch. I don’t think I warmed up until about 11 p.m. that night.  Just about the time Dean was throwing off the covers before he ran to worship his own porcelain god after he came down with what we now think was the Norovirus I “shared” with him. 

You don’t want to picture that.  But for more pictures of the park and our trip you can go here.


1 comment:

Abby said...

Glad you forgot about the 3 picture minimum. Las Cajas was great, even if it was cold. Definately something to remember. Makes me miss home...