Early on in the semester, the rest of the IES Abroad group was embarking on their trip to the Galapagos islands. Originally I was sad that I wasn't able to go with the rest of them, but after the weekend of adventures that I had instead, I don't feel so bad. I went with two girls from my program that also didn't go to the Galapagos, and another U.S. exchange student that was enrolled in the local university where some IES people take classes, USFQ. We didn't know each other well, but the chemistry was great and by the end of the weekend we felt like we had a shared experience that brought us close together. This weekend, we took buses down to a nature reserve and began an 8 hour hike early in the morning up a dusty trail, into a valley where a refuge sits, across the valley, over a mountain pass and down the other side to the Yellow Lake. It was amazingly beautiful the whole way, although kind of cloudy. When we set up camp for the night, it began to sprinkle a little, creating an unescapable chill while we cooked our warm dinner of quinoa and veggies on the camp stove. We got warm in our sleeping bags and went to bed to wake up for a sunny morning. Even though our bones were still chilled from the night before, we felt like we had to take a dip in the lake as a rite of passage before hiking back down the long path in order to hire a truck to take us to a bus to take us to a hostel for the night. I also added a photo of one of the strangest but delicious fruit I have tried here so far. It's called an achiotillo, and it tastes kind of like a grape with a bizarre outer shell.
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<div>My name is Chloe Trifilio. I am an Environmental Science student with a minor in Recreation at Ithaca College in New <span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">York, but for one semester I will be studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador! I am originally from the great state of Vermont </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">where I love to hike, bike, climb, kayak and generally explore the Green Mountains. I am also on the Ultimate Frisbee </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">team and I'm very excited to see how Ecuadorians get down on the field. I hereby promise to use this blog to show </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">everything that I see and do in Ecuador, which will include climbing, playing frisbee, exploring the city and a trip to the </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">Amazon!</span></div>