November 17, 2013
Luke and team have had a busy weekend down in Ecuador. Saturday morning was fun, with a visit to the world famous Otavalo Market. Nice introduction to the handicrafts of Ecuador. The crew was in Quito by early afternoon. Packing/prepping/last minute shopping and a nice lunch were the order of the day. Dinner was in Old Town, on a street called La Rhonda. This is one of the oldest streets in Quito. The area used to be pretty “rough” but it’s now been renovated and is a nightly hot spot these days.
Sunday morning saw an early departure from Quito to the home of my Ecuadorian partner, Romulo Cardenas. Romulo’s wife, Patricia, had made the team a lovely (and early) breakfast so they could get an early morning start up Pasochoa, another acclimatization hike. About 3000 vertical feet make for the perfect climb at this stage of the trip. Less than 3 hours up, maybe an hour and a half down and they were off to the Hacienda Tierra del Volcan. This beautiful working ranch is located right at the base of Cotopaxi, at about 12,300’. Perfect place to spend 2 nights prior to their climb. Sunday night dinner was family style at the hacienda. They do seriously nice meals.
Monday the group heads to the refugio on Cotopaxi, and above, to get in more acclimatization and a refresher of the mountain techniques needed for Cotopaxi.