Well, yesterday was my last day at Zuleta. I'll be excited to be in the Galapagos once I'm there (currently at my stopover in Guayaquil), but right now I wish I could have stayed there a little longer! It's amazing how quickly this place feels like home.
My pre-breakfast morning was pretty leisurely - I watched the cows on their way back to pasture post-milking from the window seat in my room, had a cup of coffee by the fire in the sitting room, and was able to catch the horses trotting into the stables for the day.
Once other people started milling around, I grabbed one last breakfast of most delicious yogurt in the world and hitched a ride up to the condor station to the start of Bear Trail for another hike. Bear Trail weaves through the forest across a few streams and up to a nice little waterfall. I decided not to take the dogs this time since they'd scare away any potential wildlife sightings (my chances were slim enough already). I only saw a few birds, but if you see Yann tell him I saw 19 tapir, ok?
The hike itself was lovely. There wasn't much overall elevation gain, but the trail did weave up and down, sometimes very steep and very muddy slopes. Luckily the most treacherous spots were outfitted with ropes so I could just muscle my way up a cliff when needed.
I succeeded in exiting the trail without breaking anything, so I quickly ran into the condor station to borrow the baño and check for any wild condors (still no luck!), then decided to walk the 2+ miles back to hacienda next to the trout farm (where they were catching today's lunch) and through the pastures. My already tender scalp was really feeling the sun without the tree cover, so I made a make-shift hat with my scarf. It looked very fashionable and cool, so I made sure to walk past everyone I ever met. Ugh!
With just an hour or so before I needed to eat lunch and head out, I made a quick trip out to the Zuleta village to explore a little bit. I doodled around and met one of the local saddle-makers, but mostly just bonded with more cute dogs that needed some love. Apparently Ecuadorians all have dogs, but they don't really pet them or socialize with them... they just hang around. It's tragic, so I do what I can to pet all the dogs.
And I guess that rounds out my time at Zuleta! I had so much fun and I'm so grateful for the Hacienda Zuleta family! I met the sister last night and we're currently on a boat in the Galapagos! The internet access is understandably shoddy, so I'll be taking pictures and writing, but likely won't post anything until we dock again next Saturday. Buenas noches!