The massively talented "birthday twins," Michaela & Marianna, a talented travel writer and crazy amazing photographer, respectively, are back for another round of #birthdaybucketlist South American soirees. Are you following along on M & M's magical adventures with #babesinsouthamerica? Don't miss Diary entry #1, when they made flower crowns on a rooftop in Colombia and Diary #2 where they galloped down to the Galapagos.
Amidst all this celebrating down South, we wondered how they found the time to balance work with all these lovely life adventures. This week's Diary Entry #3 finds M & M in Quito, Ecuador, posted up on the rooftop deck of the prettiest new boutique hotel, Casa Q catching up on pending projects. It goes to show you can balance your beautiful adventures with your work passions and neither has to suffer for it. Don't worry, these daring dames certainly found the time to adventure off-the-beaten path and into the countryside to explore Cotopaxi National Park by horseback. Read on to find out how these two talented ladies found themselves, the further up the into the mountains they rode.
Between country hopping adventures in South America, Marianna and I found ourselves with three days of downtime to catch up on pending writing and photography projects in Quito, Ecuador.
After a life-affirming trip to the Galapagos Islands, we landed at Quito’s newest boutique hotel, Casa Q. Doubling as our co-working space for the entire stay, Marianna and I created our own office in the top floor terrace, where we spent time alternating from hammocks to bean bags to desks on the open-air roof.
During our necessary breaks from work, we explored more of Casa Q, which often led us to the first-floor to refill our coffee cups with fresh brew.
There we found Casa Q’s mask wall, full of colorful varieties, including cats, birds and fictitious animals of all kinds. We also explored the boutique, home to a collection of work from local Quito artists.
We didn’t venture too far from the hotel, as we found it hard to leave the beauty of the space, but we did decide – after three days of solitude in the city – it was time to get a dose of the Quito countryside.
Our wild idea brought us to Cotopaxi National Park, home to one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. We explored the open terrain with Jorge Rivas, the owner of Tierra del Volcan’s Hacienda El Porvenir. Jorge showed us the magic of the landscape, where we spent our days mountain biking, hiking to waterfalls and wildlife watching.
With just 22 rooms and a property more reminiscent of a welcoming locale, we felt right at home chatting with Jorge and his staff as we drank tea into the late evening hours, steady gaining warmth in front of the living room’s fireplace.
We felt connected to the traditional Chagra culture of the region, where life once revolved around horse-riding for every day needs.
We spent hours on horseback (my horse was named Picaflor, meaning hummingbird in Spanish) exploring the mountains of Cotopaxi, daydreaming the day away as Jorge told us local myths and legends of the mountains.
“In general, one of the things that mountains do is connect you to your inner self,” Jorge says, which completely describes our energy shift in Cotopaxi.
Regretfully, we bid farewell to Jorge and Cotopaxi for our next adventure, which would take us to yet another county – this time Peru.
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