Quilotoa Loop - Mallory Paige

Quilotoa Loop Go Here, Do This

There’s something magical about bumping down dirt roads that are rarely driven. About passing neighborhoods where everyone comes out of their homes to stare in absolute disbelief that anyone – let alone gringos on dual sports – is passing by. About seeing firsthand the natural beauty, experiencing the quickly changing landscapes, meeting the people of these middle-of-nowhere pueblos. That’s Ecuador on bike.

Quilotoa Lake is a popular spot, but on moto the winding dirt road makes the trip feel otherworldly. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see the Lake from above; the clouds parting, giving a clear view of the emerald waters below. You might be tempted to just take a peek over the rim and move on, but the hike down – and even up – is worth the experience.

Quilotoa Loop - Mallory Paige

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Quilotoa Loop - Mallory Paige

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Latte - Mallory Paige

Embrace the Crazy

I sat there power drinking my tea. Determined to teach them a lesson.

I understood they would be closing in 20 minutes. Paper cup refused, I promised to finish the pot of tea in time.

Down went the tea as quickly as possible.

A refill of hot water requested. Paper cup encouraged. Refused. Encouraged strongly. Refused adamantly.

I was rather annoyed at this point. Why did they have to be so crazy? Why didn’t they get it?

It was the principle of the thing, not wanting to waste a paper cup.

It was the tactile experience, requesting a proper mug.

It was the economical choice, to get a second dose of hot water.

My mind whirled as I downed it. Scalded tongue be damned, I was going to finish this tea.

And then I began to giggle. At the absolute absurdity of it all. At the fact that while I thought them crazy, they surely thought same of me.

The crazy lady who just didn’t get it.

The desire to be done with the work day. The hope that it would be a day devoid of insane, power-drinking tea fanatics.

We’re each our own kinda crazy.

It’s what makes us unique.

View the crazy with humor and compassion.

It’s what makes it bearable.