Raindrops on roses and little pink noses. Rubber boots in muddy puddles and fingerprints on foggy windows. Misty mountains and soggy meadows. Dashing between cloud splashes! Hot tea while counting the drips from pine needles. Giggling beneath the nylon eaves of our new family tent. Eating pancakes in bed, on top of sleeping bags and squished dollies. These are some of my favorite memories!The last few weeks have consisted of long, wet days dotted with the occasional splurge of sun. Ecuador seems to have forgotten that the rainy season ended 7 weeks ago. There is no point in trying to out-drive it, the rains are dancing everywhere. One day we heard that the entire continent was glowering under one massive rain cloud. It was probably true.
Normally one would think that rain wouldn’t be that much fun, especially with the mindset of camping and over-landing as the main goal of a satisfactory life. When the days get weary, we take the extra time to snuggle in longer and closer. And when we emerge, we find a new world to discover. In the wilderness, the rain changes everything. The sound of the river, the feel of the grass, and the glow of the trees and plants.The mountains cast an eerie glow over the valley, as the mist hangs in the air where the curtains of rain hung before. The waters below the banks thud and roll, making thunderous echoes between the canyons. The sounds are reminiscent of angry, ocean tides when the storms sneak into shore. The birds are quiet, as if exhausted from nights on end of relentless downpours. The flowers glisten with gemstones, twinkling from afar when branches of sunlight split through the lingering clouds and land on the hovering rain drops.We are intrigued and we venture out to capture the secrets of the forest after the storm. Leaves great and creatures small beckon to us from behind the vibrant colors of a freshly painted scene. Ecuador never disappoints in her passion with displaying every imaginable color of the rainbow. But, even so the rains wipe the slate clean and reveal nature in a new light- just as it happens with restored historical paintings.
We delighted in an hour of meandering up a picturesque grass and dirt lane. A path framed by flowers and forest, mountains and river. Crosses made from window panes and a perfectly rustic garden gnome. This is the road that breaks us from civilization and deposits us into our current destination. Just far enough from others for us to cherish the silence of life in the forest. Yet, close enough to dip our toes in when we miss it a little bit.
This is the part of traveling where checks and balances come in. It would be easy to say that we never want to see the hustle and bustle of tourist destinations. But, there would be a lot to be missed if we adopted an attitude like this. We do want to see and do many things in the nearby by Baños, Ecuador. The sense of adventure and appreciation for the outdoors is what lured us here. But, to stay in a hotel or even a hostel can sometimes be a damper for us. We like to be away from the cities, but to trickle back in as we like. To not be overwhelmed with a heavy dose, but to soak it in bit by bit. Places like this are more than ideal, maybe even perfection for our family. There is so much to do, absorb and explore. Off we go to unveil more of it!
**This post is from our stay at Abby’s Hideaway, Lligua, Ecuador.