Today, I thought I was going to pass out on an active volcano…
The hardest thing about traveling is knowing what’s good for your buck. I want to see everything but of course I have to budget well. Yesterday, Bev and I decided to book a bike/hike tour with Galapagos Tour to see the Volcano Cotopaxi for $35. Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcano in the world.
This morning, the company gave us complimentary coffee from Q restaurant and was picked up by our bus driver.
The bus ride is not that bad. I was thinking we were going to be on dirt roads; however, to my surprise we were on highways that were paved nicely than the streets in LA.
The surroundings changed once we were out on the road. It went from poor housing to beautiful luscious green hills filled with farm homes.
The bus ride was about an hour from Quito to a beautiful hotel where we had a bathroom break, bike check, and more passengers.
The next 25 minutes was to the entrance of the National Park where there were indigenous women selling gloves, beanies, food, etc.
Luis, our guide tour, said that 80% of items such as roses and meat are exported out of the country. When the volcano had erupted 150 years ago, the soil made it easily to grow food and plants.
The adventure basically starts when our bus driver is trying to drive up a steep hill to get to a parking lot where we would start our trek.
Dude, we were stuck so many times because it was raining/snowing and our driver was driving backwards on full speed next to construction machinery! Then he stops and goes full speed again up the road. There was a moment where everyone on the bus was literally preparing to have the bus fall over…
We start our trek and it starts from this random parking lot on the middle of the volcano to a refugee home. It is only .67 mile. The guy that booked the tour for us said it was so easy of a hike that we would have no problem…
I thought I was going to faint. We were hiking switchbacks at a very slow pace. I mean step by step. The reason for this was because of the elevation gain.
I seriously didn’t think I was going to make it. It was lightly snowing, steep, and I had no gloves on I should’ve bought those gloves by those ladies.
I make it to the refugee house and was told that if I wanted to see the glacier of the volcano, I had to hike a steeper hill for another .16 mile.
I felt nauseous, tired, and weak but was determined to go. Of course, I am so behind from the group that I had sat down and was going to turn around and stay with the group that stayed behind.
Yet, for some odd reason it wouldn’t be an adventure if I don’t go right? I make it up there and the view is phenomenal. From there, I thought it was all over. I mean we are already at 16,000ft in elevation…
Nope, Luis thinks our group is the best in time that he decides to have us ascend by rope up the glacier! It was so much fun!
We meet the rest back at the refugee camp and descend our journey back to the bus.
Exhausted, tired, and just want food, Luis said we still have to mountain bike for a little over 5 miles the back way down the volcano… Wtf..
I totally forgot about that! Another lesson I learned is to not leave my gloves behind. We went downhill for about 3.5 miles and my hands were stiff and it was so hard to brake going downhill on wet dirt. I almost ate it two times haha.
We finally make it back to the bus and our driver took us to a restaurant to feast, complementary of the tour company. When you look at the picture and think to yourself that’s all we had, it’s actually good that we didn’t have meat and had a light meal instead. The reason for this is that people that are not use to the elevation and eat a crap load of food would most likely puke on the hour bus ride back to Quito. We wouldn’t want that now…
Lunch consisted of bread, guacamole, potato chips, apples, bananas, vegetable soup and tea.
We head back to drop our guide off at the hotel and waiting for us was green tea and chocolate brownie 🙂
Overall, it was worth every penny for this amazing adventure and meeting new friends!
Since it’s our last night in Quito, we decided to go out in the town for a real feast. La Rhonda is a bridge in the Santa Domingo region where it’s filled with Ecuadorians and tourists. Live spanish bands and cobblestone roads.
We went to Negra Tentacion Restaurante
First dish: Nachos con las Tres Salsas.
Second dish: Locro Quiteno – soup with potato, cheese, toasted corn and avocado. This a famous soup without the corn in Ecuador.
Third Dish: Seco de Chivo – Lamb served with potatoes, rice and salad
Fourth Dish: Lomo con Papas Fritas o Papa Chaucha – Beef tenderloin with fried potatoes and salad
And for dessert, homemade ice cream!
We totally didn’t finish any of it. I think our stomachs are getting use to eating small meals..
Overall, a great day!