Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ecuador: Cotopaxi

All the photos here.

We took a guided day trip from Quito to the nearby national park around the Cotopaxi volcano. The tour company drove us and a few others out to the park, where we would stop below the volcano, at the park's very small museum, and finally, part way up the volcano. From about 3900 m, we would begin a 2 hour walk up to the edge of the glacier at about 5000 m (16,400 ft)... this is probably the highest altitude we've ever hiked to! There is a hut/refuge about half way up the trail to the glacier, where you can get outfitted to do the actual ice climbing to the summit after the sun goes down. We stopped here for lunch on the way down, but the food was bad and there wasn't enough for vegetarians. After lunch, we walked back to the bus and took an 11 km (almost 7 mile) mountain bike ride down the volcano to a lagoon near the park entrance. We also saw an Andean wolf (which is really a fox) and milked a cow! All in all, a very fun tour.

Interesting after story: On another day, we ran in to a woman who recently quit from the tour company we used to go to Cotopaxi. She complained that they underpaid their guides, skimped on food, and treated her terribly. So.... for those of you looking for a particular tour company to use if for Cotopaxi, we can't really recommend one, even though we had a good trip with ours.

Friday, October 29, 2010

More like this to come...

We are back in America now, and sometime this weekend, probably between World Series games 3 and 4, we'll have a more complete update with stories and pictures. Until then, let this whet your appetite. :)
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

An old photo from Quito

This is from our first night in Ecuador, when we met up with our friend who now lives in Berlin. We had dinner at El Arabe, a medeteranean place in the new part of Quito. Actually, this was one of the best meals we had here in Ecuador.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

cafe austria en cuenca, ecuador

Hanging with coffee and wireless at a very touristy place on a sunday morning...

graffitti (?) en cuenca, ecuador

More Ecuador

Still unable to post photos, but will do so quickly after returning to the States. Yesterday, we went to a high altitude national park in the Andes, Parque Nacional Cajas. It looked a lot like some of the alpine regions of New Zealand, but different in many ways, too. Today, we are going to a cloud forest in the north of the country.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quito, Ecuador

Blogging from Justine's Droid... so I appologize for the brevity. Also watching game 5.

Yesterday we went to the CENTER OF THE EARTH, also known as the location some guy first identified the equatorial position. Today, we climbed most of the way up the glaciated volcano, Cotopaxi (we peaked at 5000 meters... about 17000 feet), then rode mountain bikes down. Freakin awesome. We also milked a cow today. Squirt.

Food is lacking, but sights, scenery are great.