Josh: so this hacienda has internet (sort of) but no access to a phone (at least for guests)
me: how was your day?
Josh: good day today, challenging hike to climb Rucu Pichincha (15,600 ft), good scenery and pretty good weather, no rain, but windy, foggy, and cold at the top
me: (Aaron says it's silly that they have no phone and maybe we can send Daddy OUR telephone) how long did it take to climb?
Josh: ha ha, a total of about 6 1/2 hrs (up and back), we started with a gondola ride to get part way up the mountain (to about 13,400 ft) we met in the lobby at 7:30, started the hike just after 9, were back to the bus about 4pm and arrived at the hacienda about 6pm and just had dinner. tomorrow we don't start until 8. they are trying to keep us up at elevation for as long as possible to help with acclimatization
Josh: so we take several breaks and spend some time at the top
me: that makes sense. How are you doing with that?
Josh: so far, so good. some mild headaches but not too much else other than gasping for air as we climb. tomorrow its basically the same as today, just a little higher (16,000 ft) and a little colder. so yeah, so far the group is getting along well. I see similarities to Kili with how the group is bonding so you should be able to relate somewhat
me: good. I'm the teensiest bit jealous, but not enough to not be thrilled that you're doing it
Josh: I think you would have enjoyed the climbs yesterday and today, but probably not the rest as much :)me: that's probably true. I need to be in MUCH better shape before I consider doing another climbing trip. Half marathon in January should be a good start ... did I ask you how dinner was?
Josh: not sure, dinner was good. food has been good so far
me: local stuff? or mostly sandwiches, etc?
Josh: we have sandwiches (ham and cheese) and lots of snacks on the mountain, dinners have been in restaurants. I told you about the Crepe place. last night was pizza at the supposed best pizza place in Quito
me: and how was it?
Josh: tonight was at the Hacienda. pizza was good (not as good as Pietros or Johns in NYC) but good. a little different.
Josh: before we get rushed at the end of my time, I don't know exactly when we will get back here on Sunday so be prepared for me to text you sometime in the late afternoon and we can at least figure out a time to talk more in depth
me: that will work fine. We have no plans past getting up there tomorrow afternoon!
Josh: also, don't worry if for some reason we don't talk on Sunday (I know it will be a bummer), but don't think that I didn't make it down. its been less predictable than I thought it would be to talk with you
me: okay, I'll try not to freak out. Just try to text me as soon as you can k?
Josh: there are 3 computers at this place and only 2 seem to be working now and there are currently about 2 or 3 people waiting in line to use them. there are a bunch of students (college?) here
me: not quite the same as having your own laptop in your own room, huh?
Josh: no it isn't and you have to ask for the ID and password and Ive only found one person that speaks English just to get on to the computers
me: argh... that's frustrating. time to brush up on your Spanish?
Josh: a bit, but I guess you go with the flow (when in Rome . . .). I'm trying. I did stop a kitchen worker and manage to convey that I wanted to buy 60 more minutes of Internet access so she could go get the person that could get me an ID
me: there you go! You were always much better at the speaking part than me
Josh: baby steps
me: exactly. You'll be fluent (at least in all the curse words) before you get home :)
Josh: it was choppy and probably came out like me . . . 60 more . . . Internet (that word in English)
me: ha! But it worked, so that's the main point
Josh: ...I cant stay up too much later because I still have to get ready for tomorrow
me: yeah, I guess it's getting late there, esp when you're climbing the next day
Josh: ...yeah. I'm pretty much wiped out
[insert standard back and forth of "I love/miss you, no I love/miss you..." until we were cut off promptly at 10pm ECT]