Monday, July 4, 2011

5 hour detour to Chimborazo and altitude sickness

While we left Banos heading for a park I don't even know the name of that Ji, had read about somewhere. We got on the road heading for the PA hwy south but was greeted by a line of cars waiting on a road block, than we notice a bunch of cars jumping the line and passing on the opposite lane so we asked a person waiting "where are they going?" Riobomba, he replied! great we heading to the same way, so we overtook all the waiters and got directed to a dirt road heading for Riobomba. While on the road we got some great views not seen before. Usually we on top of the mountains looking into the valley but this road was down low, beside the river. We noticed a lot of road constructions going on and thought nothing of it. We finally got to a patch of paved road and asked a local for directions to the park and they pointed us to continue along that road. We noticed more road work and passed until the road just ended and the worker tells me you can't pass! OK, would have been nice to have sign saying "NO PASSE". Angry and frustrated we went back about 30 minutes and asked another local to a different town they pointed us to a beautiful paved road we drove on that road for about 2 hours and found the park we had been looking for but it was closed disappointed we continued on that road to the next town and long behold another road block they told us you can't pass OMG! we had to back track, would have been nice to post some signs so people know, all we got were some laughs and giggles.

military exercise we hope
scenic road but would have been nice to know it leads nowhere!

Finally we decided to stop off at Chimborazo national park and see the tallest peak in Ecuador, big big mistake. Now we just came from the coast and had not acclimatized ourselves and we went straight up the the base camp about 5000 meters up we both felt ok at first. 1 hour later we stared getting headaches pounding ones and to top it off the sun was setting and it was getting cold. The base camp allowed us to use the kitchen and we made some instant noodles and after decide to hold up for the night in the van. We couldn't sleep all night Jieun was throwing up all night. I on the other hand had a massive headache and was just freezing. I wanted to leave in the night but It was just too dark to drive down that curvy road at night. One thing we got from the peak was clear night and great views of the Chimborazo. As soon as the sun came out we head down high and straight for Cuenca.

stunning view but the picture brings back a migraine
llama of chimborazo