The short daily distances I've got mapped out to reach the Santuario de Lajas exactly on the day before Easter have gotten to me - what do I do with the rest of the day? Because it's not my comfortable pace, I gave myself a day off in the cute mountain village of Penipe where Franciscan nuns runs a shelter for evacuees from the local volcano, Tungurahua. Despite the nightly glow, there are no evacuees at the moment, so I had the place to myself and three nuns attended me with diligence. One of the nuns, a sweet babbler named Salvadora, insisted that I stay a week, and I compromised by staying two nights. From a local indigenous group, she holds many secrets of the herbal world in her head and produced a tasty and effective infusion of several herbs to cure all complaints of the stomach: chamomile, lemon verbena, lemon balm, dandilion leaves, and corn silk, snipped fresh from the ear. With the day of rest, I can now resume my comfortable pace of a marathon a day.
Funny thing, a good number of people have been offering me chocolate Easter eggs for the road =)