02.03.2013 - 02.03.2013
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It's 5 o' clock, so there are still two more hours before dinner. We lie huddled together for warmth beneath three wool blankets and a coverlet of the kind you see in a gift store of a failing mall--a wide, fleecy piece that has begun to pill, and on it printed the romantic image of a squinting white wolf, head raised to howl at the moon.
Every day we trudge into town--too weary to speak--find a hostel, shower if we can, and then climb into the cumbersome bed to wait for dinner. One of us reads while the other naps or stares at the ceiling, the wall. We wonder at our fatigue--if it's just the thin air at nearly 4,000 meters, or if our bodies are old and disused after all, the days of racing up and down a landscape for 17 or 20 miles over.
We met Quilotoa Lake today, sulfurous and slatish in its deep crater. Some tiny kayakers paddled out to the middle of it. Withot meaning to, I kept tabs on them as we stumbled around the crater to the town of Quilotoa, which is not much more than a collection of a dozen or so hostels, some fairly ramshackle. Still, we were buoyed by a delicious lunch we discovered--a perfectly panfried drumstick with some equally perfect fries, tomato salad, and a creamy chunk of avocado.
It's so cold it's difficult to believe we're near the equator. Strange to think that in a month we'll be sweating in the Philippines again.