Postcards from Ecuador – Climbing Wawa Pichincha Volcano

Diplomonkey did not have anything better to do on his day off on his latest trip up to Quito than to go and climb a mountain, or in this case a volcano.  That is, the Wawa (i.e., child in the Kichwa language) Pichincha volcano towering over the city.

Which BTW lasted erupted in October 1999, covering Quito in three inches of volcanic ash.

Cable Car to the 4,100 meter mark.

View of Quito – Cable Car drop off point at the 4,100 meter mark.

Chapel on the trail up to Ruku Pichincha

Chapel on the trail up to Ruku Pichincha.

The volcano is easy to reach from Quito via a cable car that will drop you off at the 4,100 meter mark.  From there, you start climbing toward the Ruku Pichincha (i.e., old person in Kichwa) peak.  The air is thin!

Riding down from Ruku Pichincha.

Riding down from Ruku Pichincha.

Riding down from Ruku Pichincha.

Riding down from Ruku Pichincha.

Next time Diplomonkey is up in Quito, and if time permits, he will get a horse and ride up to the caldera is style.  Cool, warm ponchos are provided.

Pichincha Horse and corral at about 4,300 meters.

Pichincha Horse and corral at about 4,300 meters – will hire this one next time.

Dude running the trail down from Ruku Pichincha.

Dude running the trail down from Ruku Pichincha.

Enjoy the sights.

Cheers!

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Home Again, Off Again…

Okay so the hours are long, the workload heavy, the time spent away from family painful; fortunately the work remains rewarding and wifie has not (yet) changed the locks on the front door.

Banana1

Rice field and shack outside of Babahoyo, Ecuador.

As a Foreign Service Officer, I must explore the countryside, engage with people, and report on new things.  These are requirements that appeal however to Diplomonkey’s inner Viking’s wunder lust.

In recent travel to Ecuador alone, I have seen the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano towering over the cloud line to shrimp and tilapia farms along the Guayas River to even Arabian pure breed horses in lush mountain pastures 3,000 meters above sea level (far removed from the burning sands of their origin in the Arabian peninsula).

Cotopaxi Volcano

Cotopaxi Volcano and Quito.

Arabian Horses at Altitude.

Arabian Horses at Altitude.

Bulls Up High.

Bulls on up High.

At the same time, I have walked along the route that Francisco de Orellana took in the sixteenth century when he set out to explore and conquer the Amazon.  Pretty cool, but surreal nonetheless (can you say Indiana Jones).

Francisco de Orellana

Statute of Francisco de Orellana, Spanish Explorer and Conquistador.

Camino de los Conquistadores

Walking in the Footsteps of Orellana along the Camino de los Conquistadores.

Sanctuary of the Virgin of Guapulo and Convent - or simply the Guapulo Church

Sanctuary of the Virgin of Guapulo and Convent – or simply the Guapulo Church.

Anyhow, it’s off to Texas and Florida again in a couple of weeks to look at cattle for export to South America.  In the meantime, to make amends while still in Lima I will make wifie a Chilcano with ginger syrup tonight.  For the more adventurous, the recipe follows.  Cheers from Lima.

Ingredients:

  • One jigger Peruvian Pisco (use the Mosto Verde – Torontel variety if possible)
  • Half a jigger of Ginger syrup
  • A dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Juice of half a Peruvian lime (somewhat similar to a large key lime), leave the seeds that fall in for effect
  • Top off with Ginger Ale (about three jigger’s worth)
  • Add an ice-cube or two and gently stir.