We hiked a couple of miles for what seemed to be straight up to see the Elephant Caves, a gathering place for numerous animals (according to our guide). However, you couldn't prove it by our merry band. We saw no elephants, no buffalos -- though we saw plenty of dung evidence to show they'd visit recently. We did hear lots of birds though. Birds are in abundance here. I have one that keeps hitting my window every morning. Not sure its a cuckoo but it certainly plays the part.
The walk was enjoyable though taxing. (We're a slight bit higher in altitude here than Houston, you know.) And we made it to a waterfall that made the day all I had hoped it would be. Standing 50 meters above the valley below, the air was cool and the scene took me back to Ecuador and another fall, Yosemite and another several falls, Ireland and even east Tennessee. And at that moment, I felt incredible gratitude for all I've seen and will see.
I live a great life.
(And my housemates assure me I'll see plenty of wildlife at the crater next weekend. Until then, I'll keep my list of the critters that seem to enjoy my bedroom as much as I do. I removed a worm when I got home from the hike.)