Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I thought you might like to see where we have been. This picture is hard to read but each black line represents a round trip to that place if the line is just out and back. If we covered several cities than the lines may be a multicity loop. In this map you can see the 3 countries of the old South America North Area. We are now combined with the west area and there are 5 countries in our area. The solid blue lines on the map seperate the countries and the different colors within the countries are the missions. Venezuela has 4 missions, we have done the least in Venezuela. Ecuador is the littlest country and has only 3 missions and we have completed all but 6 of the stakes in Ecuador. Our last trip to Ecuador is not on this picture. It was down in the southern part. We made that trip in early July and haven't traveled since. We have traveled the most in Colombia because we have traveled for more reasons than just the auditor responsibilities that Darwin has. We will be going to Litcia some time in October and we will be doing some other traveling to the North of Bogotá soon. Colombia is about 3 times the size of Montana.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Living, Learning and Hiking in Bogotá

There is a 5.5 minute video below this text about our hike. We have not been traveling as much with Darwin working on new training formates and waiting for the new assistants to be called, so we have had more time to enjoy Bogotá itself. We live really close to the eastern mountains and discovered quite by accedent a little known trail to the top of the mountain right close to us. It is a very safe hike (difficult but safe). It is actually on an ecological preserve and they train some of the 'boy scout' millitary types (16-18 year olds who are completing their 2 year military obligation)in ecology and other matters on this preserve. The wife of the new mission president in the North is quite an adventurer and walks most mornings. She has discovered a fruit and vegitable market that occures each Wed morning from 6am to 12 noon. While talking with some of the other patrons someone told her about the preserve just up from this market. She and President Hacking decided to check it out one p-day and managed to get on the trail. They only had about an hour and didn't make it all the way up but they told us how to get into the preserve and where the trail head was, so Darwin and I decided to try it on Saturday. They told us that the gate opened at 6:30 am and closed at 10 am so we had to be back down by 10 am or we would get locked in. We left our house at 8 am (we are about 7 blocks from the trail head) and didn't get back down until 12 noon. We did find another way out and we made it to the top. It was a much more difficult hike than we had thought but there were people who were able to help us get on the right trails. There were several places where it was difficult to decide which way to go and the trail is really not a tourist thing, so it was not well marked. You kind of have to know it is there. It is really kind of amazing that we got to the top because we got lost a couple of times. Luckly we always seemed to find someone, either coming down or going up that could tell us which trail to take next. It is not like we were going to get totally lost, most of the trails eventually led back down but getting to the point where you could view the city was a bit tricky and very steep in places. Hope you enjoy the slide show.

Coming down was the hardest for me. My toes kept jamming into my shoes and my feet got so tired and sore that I was having trouble keeping my ankle stable. I was really quite pleased though because this was a much more difficult hike than the Montana Wilderness hike I took and my feet and ankles held up much better.