Donkey Crossing

Welcome to Donkey Crossing! Donkey Crossing is an on-line account of one Limey and one Yank living one Dream. From September 2006 until the end of 2007, we plan to visit friends and family on five continents and immerse ourselves into various cultures, natural phenomena and ways of life. We hope you enjoy our tales and visit often! Cheers, Jason and Rachel Napoli

Monday, October 09, 2006

24 hours in Intag
Kevin and Tamara have spoken favorably of Intag, a beautiful region a couple of hours northwest of Otavalo. Located between the mountains and the coast, Intag´s fertile slopes are covered with cloud forest, with sporadic patches of farm land. Jason and I decide we´d like to experience Intag first hand, and Kevin is happy to be our chauffeur and guide, since he also gets to visit the piece of land he and Tamara bought in Intag last year. The Kidds own the saddle and the peak to the right of the large plateau, as well as the land below all the way into the valley, pictured here.

The drive is a bumpy one on an unpaved winding road, but as we descend through the cloud forest, stunning views of lush peaks and valleys abound. We pull into the Cabañas Rio Grande where we´ll be spending the night. Within a two minute walk of our cabins are a picturesque river and some bathing pools, heated by natural thermal springs.

After a few hours in the Land Cruiser on dusty roads, we savor the warmth of the thermal pools, while watching the pink sunset glow as it climbs through the valley. After a delicious, simple feast of local trout, we retire to our rustic accommodations.

The next morning, we take the bumpiest and dustiest road yet to Kevin & Tamara´s land, heading up, up and up some more. On arrival we find a large piece of land with a wide array of fruits and vegetables growing with apparent ease. We grab a couple of granadillas (a hard shelled fruit with slimy, delicious seeds inside) and begin climbing to the peak to the right of the saddle. We are a bit disturbed, but not entirely derailed by several ominous looking spiders along the path. We make it to the peak, noticing the pleasant abundance of oxygen, since we´ve descended quite a bit in altitude from lung-crushing Otavalo.

To our right, there´s a near vertical drop into the valley, and to the left, a full view of Kevin and Tamara´s land.

While we´re exploring and examining our exposed skin for spider bites, Kevin talks business with ´La Doña´, the previous owner of the land who continues to live here, operating a small farm and acting as steward of the land in Kevin and Tamara´s absence. Apparently a neighbouring landowner has been planning to build an road straight through the middle of Kevin and Tamara´s land. Encroachment seems to be a common occurence here. Hopefully the tactics La Doña has been employing to fend off the intruders will continue to work. I personally wouldn´t mess with anyone who owns a machete as big as hers.

Kev and Tamara have found another slice of paradise. We leave with a sack full of organic oranges, bananas, lemons, sugarcane, granadillas and lemongrass. Although Tamara couldn´t join us, she will certainly enjoy the fruits of our trip!

Thanks to Kev, ´the Lord of the Manor´, for another great Ecuadorian outing.


Blogger Hot Toddy said...

Rachel & Jason,
Thanks for taking the time and making the effort to keep up the blog. It is a wonderful way for me to share in your experiences. Plus you will have an amazing travel journal the two of you can refer back to. And say things like "well kids when we hiked Intag . . ." Condors--Way cool.

Love & Hugs,

12:39 PM  
Blogger Donkey Crossing said...

Glad you´re enjoying the blog. Thanks for the tips on uploading photos too.

Kids? What kids?!......

love Rach

1:04 PM  

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