Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ecuadorable - Just Shut Up!

"Just shut up". That's not a romantic thing to say - yet it was what I uttered just moments before saying the most romantic thing you can say, which is not "I brought donuts" or "fine we can watch Gilmore Girls".

To capture the scene we have to go back to Ecuador. In fact we have to go back to a post from October in which the question was asked to you dear readers "Which adventure should Jungle Pete and Ma-Le go on in Ecuador?" - Volcanoes and mineral springs or Waterfalls and Ziplines. You would have thought that you chose buses and taxis by our itinerary but in fact it was waterfalls and ziplines.

The first adventure Ma-Le and I went on during this trip was to the Tayos Caves. There were hundred foot waterfalls a short hike from our lodge. There were giant cascades along the river and there was a waterfall in the Tayos Cave. Fantastic. But I waited.

Two days later we headed further south to Zamora where we stayed at the well-crafted, well-designed, Belgian-run Copalinga Lodge. It's the Ritz of jungle lodges.Ma-Le and I checked into our cabin, chose one of the trails with a waterfall and headed out. As we left, I subtly suggested that by wearing shorts I was going to get my knee dirty. A comment that went unnoticed.

Zamora is in the foothills of the Andes - a tropical rain forest 5000 feet above sea level. The trails climb a steep path of switchbacks through Cecropia trees - tangled with vines, dripping with moss and covered with bromiliad air plants. A light rain began to fall at the start of the trail and I naively thought the canopy would keep us dry for a little while.
How cute - we took our boots off to cross the stream. The waterfall was not a hundred feet high. It had no name. It was not on any map. But it was a perfect spot. Ma-Le crawled under a rock outcrop to stay dry. I got down on my knee, reached into my pocket for the ring and she said "give me the camera".

"Hold on".

"No give me the camera - I have no pictures of you!"

"Just wait"

"You're always taking pictures"

"Just shut up for a second" and with ring in hand "Will you marry me"

After a few happy laughs between us, I stood up, stepped back and plummeted backwards into the waterfall.

At least my Ecuadorable fiancee said "si".


  1. Congratulations Pete! I don't believe I've ever heard anything so poetic! Have you set a date yet?

  2. I can't think of a more appropriate way for JunglePete to propose! We ae all very excited for you and MaLe - even if I was the last to find out.... :)

  3. Pete! Wow -- Congratulations!
    And I hope you have many, many
    happy years together.

    There. I'm crying into my tea, and I have to go tell Dave. Be good to each other, have fun --

  4. Congrats big time!!! I can actually tell by seeing the images of you both together that you love each other. My wife and I have that same look.....its GREAT!!! Today I usually tell the story of how my wife saved my life....which happens to be the marriage proposal story.

    I really am happy for you!!!!!

    -Mike Hamlin

  5. Good job, Petie!

    What a great story.

  6. Congratulations!


  7. Well, congratulations, Pete.
    I hope that you two will enjoy your engagement and future marriage as much as your Ecuadorian adventures together! I'm sure it will be.
    I am glad that you successfully asked Ma-Le to marry you AND then got swept off your feet. I think it usually happens the other way around.
    But anyway, that is wonderful news. I am so happy for you!

  8. Ah well, congratulations! I am a sucker for a good love story and from what I can tell you've got a great first couple of chapters. Best wishes to you both. May you have a happy (and ant free) life together.

  9. CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS!!! I am a little late to the party but am very happy for both of you!

    MeRrY ChRiStMaS & A HaPpY NeW YeAr!!!