I got asked "Would you like to go to Ecuador?" on Sunday. A group of dirt bikers I know have been planning a motorcycle trip to Ecuador for 6+ months now. Unfortunately, one of their riders had an accident a week before the trip which left a spot on their tour.

Joy is walking into work on Monday and saying "I'm flying to Ecuador on Friday".
Three flights later I arrived in Quito, capital of Ecuador and origin for this adventure. With an elevation of 9000+ feet and a latitude just below the equator, I have finally broken into the southern hemisphere and the South America continent.

Now, this is a different trip than most because I would be sharing it with six friends. However, I had a day and half to get the party started. A bonus to my trip was the unexpected party of Ecuadorian independence day. I spent the day wandering around the old town, listening to the live music set up in every square (there are a lot of them) before passing out in a red-eye jet lag stupor.
Now cities are nice and all, but I usually prefer not being in one. So with all Sunday to myself I headed out of town and into a volcano.

With a name like Pululahua you'd think you were in Hawaii but just outside of Quito is this extinct volcano crater and reserve.
The best way to get around is on horseback and the Green Horse Ranch is the group to show you around. The trails are a mixture of road, singletrack and grassy two track paths. The horses are sure footed and responsive.

Lunch was organized for us in a little house that was not bigger on the inside but much nicer than the outside. The other trip members were a couple of dentists from Germany that had been volunteering in Ecuador. Also along was a German woman that in her words "works for the Panda". So while in Ecuador, I had a day of German practice.
One of the great things about the Green Horse Ranch is that they pick up and drop off in Quito.

For our trip the drop off was at the Magic bean which has good food and excellent smoothies. The prices are at tourist rates because of it's location in relation to Plaza Foch but sometimes it's nice to have a sure thing. Especially after a vegetarian lunch. 


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