We made it up to the glacier at Cotopaxis northern side. Yes, indeed at the northern side. As we are in the southern hemisphere this is the easier one. The snow and ice only starts at about 5000 meters altitude. For making it up all the way to the top we would have needed much more solid climbing gear.
Just back from the sea-level after visiting Galapagos we didn’t even think about it. The air is noticeable thinner at above 3000 meters and you need some time to acclimatize. Additionally the day we ascended it was very windy, making it a cold and gray scenery, except…
But let’s take a step at a time.
The bus from Quito to Latacunga dropped us at the right junction in the middle of nowhere. Luckily Thorsten managed to spot two park rangers on their way home and they agreed to give us a lift to our remote accommodation. In exchange for what is worth about two beers they drove us about 2 kilometers on a very bad gravel road.
At our nice lodge for exploring the Cotopaxi region, we immediately found some new friends.
For the first day we explored the surroundings by mountain bike. Most roads unpaved gravel, many paths with potholes, a constant up and down, some ways literally leading into nowhere…
Continue reading Hiking Cotopaxi up to 5000 meters altitude
We got used to the altitude in the Andes. For the first days, you feel much older up here at 4000+ meters.
Despite our lack of Spanish, we organized a luxury low-budget trip to Galapagos. A long-term dream of us about to come true.
Still pumped with energy to explore. No vacation time to waste. Only much later we will realize the value of just living into the day. From time to time floating around, letting things happen.
But for now: How to fill the 2 day gap until Galapagos?
I saw some interesting pictures by fellow travelers. As food-lover I am anxious. Now I need to convince Thorsten to explore one of the biggest farmers markets in the region…
Continue reading Otavalo – Early Birds on the Indian Market
Yes, we finally made it to Ecuador *smiley smiling*
On 2850 meters above sea level, Quito is already quite high. The altitude makes you feel old(er) when walking around or taking the stairs. The later one you will do a lot in Quito, as the city stretches well into the hills around.
We opted to stay in a nice double room in a hostel nearby the Old Town*. From there many sights are in walk-able distance and we immediately started to make use of this.
Spanish influence and language
Exploring the colonial center, you feel the strong Spanish influence. It is still present today in buildings, habits of people and of course the language.
Oh, talking about “language”: We now realize that not really learning at least some basic Spanish* before visiting Ecuador was not the best idea. You can make your way around using gestures and some English words. But we definitely put learning a proper level of Spanish on our list *smiley worried*
After strolling through the old colonial Quito we climbed even higher to earn our evening beer. Walking a lot of stairs in thin air and reveals breathtaking views over Quito after sunset…
Continue reading Up and down in Quito