Leaving Quito by bus, I woke up from a nap and could not believe my eyes. The bus was traveling on a winding road carved out of the Andes Mountains, on one side of the thankfully paved roadway a wall of jagged exposed mountain jutting upward. On the other side an abyss, otherwise known as a canyon.
The canyon was green and lush with vegetation, with misty clouds and creeping fog, a true Amazonian rainforest. Waterfalls cascaded from thousands of feet above. With seemingly every turn, a new one revealed itself and gave me a sense of comfort and much happiness. The landscape was what I imagined Heaven to be – green, lush, warm, full of all sorts of tropical creatures, ancient trees and grand plant species.
In the hands of the bus driver – literally! – were the lives of 42 souls. Miss one of those curves and we are all violently tumbling that gash in Earth’s surface. And we then should prepare to be swept down a roiling river fed by those gentle waters cascading from atop.
Quito is almost 10,000 feet above sea level and a drive down to the flatlands is spiritual. Picture heaven, picture paradise, put them together. For this moment I needed a soundtrack. So I cued up the ol’ iPod and searched for Cantoma.
Perfect, I thought. Relax. De-stress. Deep breath. Exhale. Enjoy this moment. It’s simply spectacular and I don’t know when or where I’ll find this heaven again. Close eyes. Listen to the music. No, open them. Ecuador, you are so natural, and you please.