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Ibarra – Hike & Fly

Ibarra – Hike & Fly

Once my parents left, I found myself alone once more, stuck between my needs to socialize and the inner pressure for my spirituel quest. Something I have a hard time to bring together and that is really wearing me out. I so often find myself longing for friends, grabbing a couple of beers and just making a fool of myself telling riciculous jokes like I love doing…It’s to the point that I have to put up with travelling for the sake of some inner feelings telling me to do so.

So what I do is look for a welcoming hostal with a warm atmosphere, the kind where everybody sits together and naturally share stories and so on. “Luckily”, I bumped into that craftmen telling me about that special village called la Esperanza…

La Esperanza

La Esperanza is just 7kms up from Ibarra, north of Quito. It’s a very rural area with tiny villages build on the bottom hills of two volcanoes that few tourists come hiking. There are sheeps, pigs and cows roaming everywhere. Walking around you regularly bump into groups of women sitting in the middle of nowhere, weaving wool by hands. Only indigineous people, speaking Kichua, plotting their fields and growing corn and potatoes – Super scenic!
Originally, la esperanza has been known during the 80s when hords of hippies, including Bob Dylan and so on, would come harvesting mushrooms growing at the bottom of the volcanoes! They made the only hostel famous: “Casa Aida”, where I stayed two weeks. A familly run hostal where Aida, now the grandmother, is well known for her homemade pancakes but espacially for being really nice and helpful. I arrived there on a rainy day and was enchanted to meet a group of australians as well as a really interesting Franco-Englishman with whom we talked the politics of lobbying (he just quit his job working for Mansanto, so his point of view was really interesting to hear).
The place looked really promising, I had two volcanoes to go Hike & Fly, interesting people around and local mushroom magically fresh!
I did two flights from El Cubilche, the smaller volcano. It was kinda tricky since during winter the humidity is high and the valley got cloudy really early. I had to do real early start but that got me my best cloud flight I ever had! That day I almost thought I would walk down. The clouds materialized all of a sudden and I found myself surrounded by a sea of small white bubbles slowly rising up. I took a chance and decided to go anyways - I plugged my Mp3 in and put my hat on, off we go! – Luckily, the base wasn’t so thick and I could pick small opening here and there and “boy what a flight!” I was coming in and out whitish sky creatures, singing aloud my new favorite tune while gazing into the halo rainbow-like shadow projected bellow me!

Mushroom time

I learned that they wasn’t almost any mushroom growing anymore, at least not like it used to because people where now using pesticides. But an old folk was keeping a small buisness selling them to tourists.
They were pretty light, which I was expecting since the small amount of sunshine at this season, but they still gave me three really good journeys with some new insights…
Thanks to a journey my friend Tim made for me, I started to explore another directions… The Spirits are sharing me small crumbs of information that I hang on to rebuild the puzzle of my Life. Apparently I had a major trauma as a kid, the one that made me a spiritual seeker… I am now on a solid track, untangling beliefs of Love & Death! It sounds promising and I feel the “end” getting closer and closer…
These two weeks were a good opportunity to reconnect with myself since for the last month nothing much had happened. I thought I would spend christmas here but unfortunatly, my 3 friends left really quick (damn travelers ahaha) and I found myself alone most of the time. So I decided to take off for the old city of Cuenca, where I hope I would find a more christmas-like atmosphere as well as some people to sing Jingle Bell along!

Did you know?

Equator is apparently the only place in the world where roses grow straight! Most of the roses farm are around the Ibarra region. Pretty much all of them are being exported. The downs of it: no regulations for chemicals: health and soil issues are tragic.

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