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On retrospect, I think that this shaggy burro mystically appeared to lead us out of the Andean mist. (Photo by Marie Groff)

Ailsa’s prompt for this week’s challenge is Mystical. Before dashing off for the day, I wanted to share these images from a magical mystical Andean experience that brought tears to Marie’s eyes and to mine.  Hank, the intrepid driver, most likely suffered from our same affliction!


(Ecuador)   Driving along the back side of volcano Chimborazo, we endured kilometers and kilometers of ground-hugging fog.   Since fog prevented us from seeing Cotopaxi’s snow-capped peaks, I continued to say, “I promise;  Chimborazo should be on our left…”   Aside from the occasional burro or lone person walking along the road, we endured kilometers of scenes like this.

Hank and Marie were surely wondering about their guide’s skills! (All photos by Marie Groff)

A few kilometers later I said, “Maybe if we ask the clouds nicely, they will lift.  Please, please, dear clouds, won’t you please let us see Chimborazo?”    I told them how I once asked the whales to appear and then made a raucous ‘whale’ sound.  Within a minute, a whale breached very close to our boat as if to ask, “Who in the world made that horrid sound?

We drove on in silence for another few minutes until Marie broke the silence with an exclamation, “Look! Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!”

We fumbled for our cameras and started capturing ‘fleeting glimpses’of Chimborazo’s snow-capped peaks. And then we rounded another curve…

“THANK YOU , THANK YOU , THANK YOU!”     The beauty of the moment choked us with tears, and we kept thanking the greater power at work behind our mystical experience that got better with each kilometer!

Like children spotting Santa’s sleigh streaking across the sky, we were spellbound!

By the time we rolled on toward the city of Guaranda, the volcano had a new nickname.

Words failed us. We were no longer comfortably numb!

At  6,268 metres (20,564 ft) “Chimbo,” the highest peak in Ecuador and the farthest point from the center of the earth on the planet,  will forever be branded in our hearts!


How can one NOT have a good day after a mystical experience like that?!

May all of you have a mystical day/afternoon/evening! Z