Volcanoes R Us

Trip Start Oct 19, 2009
Trip End Mar 20, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Monday, January 18, 2010

To be honest we didn't intend to venture to Cotopaxi but the thought of a secluded all inclusive backpackers sounded pretty good (booze not included). We caught a 4WD out to the hostel which is in the middle of nowhere and 16km from Volcano Cotopaxi. Each night as we ate dinner by candle light a fire was set in our dorm room so it was toasty hot for bed, the hammocks were good and the food excellent.

On our second day we took a jeep up the volcano and then walked to the refuge at 4,800m where we thawed out before making the final ascent to the base of the glacier which is over 5,000m and overall a 700m vertical climb. This is higher than any mountain in Europe and to say Em was feeling the strain if the thin air was an understatement. The walk/run back to the car park was a
breeze in comparison and here we got the mountain bikes down off the roof rack for the ride home to the hostel.

Not everyone in the group had brakes that were effective and had to employ feet as additional stopping power. The ride back was mainly downhill until the final 3km driveway to the hostel and we were knackered at the end of it, some of the most exertion in one day for a while.

I felt justified to retire to the bedroom for a well earned nap whilst Em represented Australia at cricket as the opening batwoman. A surreal experience given the altitude and the makeshift bats and wickets.

All in all a fantastic few days in the wilds of Ecuador.

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