Monday, May 30, 2011

Our first taste of snow in over a year Cotopaxi National park

While it was bound to happen while traveling in the high Andes. We got a taste of old man winter in Cotopaxi National park, its home to one of the highest active volcanoes in the world its pinnacle is over 5,800 meters. We entered the park for only $2 each which recently dropped from $10 just last year. Before entering the park we saw a cafeteria selling coca tea made from coca plants, and yes,! same plant that makes cocaine. It cost $1 a cup and tasted alot like alight green tea with too much sugar, it supposedly helps with altitude sickness but didn't work us. The park allows cars inside so we drove as far as possibly parking at the base of the volcano which is about 4500m. We hiked up1.5hr to the base camp which is about 4900, and was really too cloudy to see anything but its a great feeling to just reach that point. I know it doesn't sound much 400 meters but when your walking on lose volcanic ash, in a snow storm and at high altitude its pretty dam hard. I really got to give credit to the people that climb to the top, they say it takes about 8 hours you need a guide and special equipment.

we had no gloves so Ji, had the brilliant idea of wearing socks to cover the hands

We made it, just to base camp
check out this guys gloves
this person couldn't make it
A prepared Ecuador family
After coming down we went to lake Limpiopungo, its largest in the park and formed during the ice age.  It took us an hour to walk around the lake with great views on either side we only wish it was a clear day to get a better picture of Cotopaxi volcano. While after all this walking we decided to camp in the park. They had signs for camping and we saw 2 different camp sites on the road to the main entrance. This is one of the scariest nights we've had camping. Nobody at the site, no stars because of the cloud and think fog, plus the wind made such a eerie sound that shock the sienna. Glad we got through that night alive. Next will be the Quilotoa loop to see the crater lake.


scariest camp site ever