From 0 to 9000 in 7 hours


Quito is 9000 ft in the air, specifically 2850 meters (which means it is actually more like 9,300 ft) and I can tell. My head is working slower, my stomach is queasy without any adventurous eating (except on the plane) and sleep was an effort last night. I went out to explore a little today with Molly Brown, owner of Casa Divina in the cloud forest of Mindo (and originally from Portola Valley), who came by this morning to pick up some goodies sent by her parents. With her were her beautiful 6 and 7 year old girls, Sabina and Divina. I brought them otter dolls from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and enjoyed telling them stories about sea otters and seals and other ocean creatures they have never seen. Sabina kept asking how otters walk and I am still not too sure of my answer. They are such adept swimmers- do they ever really walk? I decided that they probably walk on all fours when necessary. It was fun to talk about the ocean, a place we are so lucky to have nearby in our peninsula habitat. It is so fun to see animals in action in their habitat, and like I have watched otters, Divina and Sabina have grown up with cloud forest animals surrounding them. I wonder what things they could tell me about the birds that live in the trees near their house? I will journey out to their cloud forest home after the amazon adventure, stay tuned.
For now things seem to be getting into place. Paul, the leader of this scientific expedition (spoken Pah-ool by Rosa at the hostal where I am staying) arrives today. I need to venture into the spanish speaking world and wrangle myself some mud boots in town. Tomorrow I start taking my malaria pills. The next day we are headed to Rio Bigal. For those of you who have wondered how close and personal I will get with poisonous things- not to worry. Paul tells me the poisonous snakes will be handled by the experts, and apparently there are a few (experts- I’m not sure about the snakes yet) on this trip. I’ll introduce you to everyone as I meet them. This picture is from the door of my little Quito habitat where I am writing to you. I will dream tonight (hoping this altitude gives me a break) about the animals I might see in the rainforest. Sloths? Tapirs? If I’m lucky! Snakes and frogs and lots of insects are most likely, and I do love insects! Cheers, Ms. Still


5 thoughts on “From 0 to 9000 in 7 hours

  1. Your ‘quito’ looks charming – like a painting – my hat is off to you Marisa – and hope you have a wonderful time there – it does sound well organized! Yes, get those mud boots! Love you and take care!
    Aunt Sue

  2. Great to hear from you Marisa. What an adventure! Keep us posted. Say Hi to Molly who was Seth’s babysitter years ago. Take care, BZ

  3. Marisa, where you are staying looks so much like the place I stayed on my way into the rainforest! Wow, I remember that headache as well. Fortunately you are headed to lower ground. Hope you found those mud boots! We can’t wait for your next post.

  4. Looking forward to following your adventures! At the moment they are giving me a welcome distraction from my papers. Be wary of those snakes and mind the guano. Take care! Katy

  5. Marisa, I am so excited for you! I look forward to more posts and look forward to chatting with you about your adventure when you return. You are making me miss Ecuador quite a bit!

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