Saturday, 1 February 2014

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship

Top #1 thing to do when you are in Ecuador is to climb the 2nd highest active volcano in the the Andes called Cotopaxi. You can climb up to 15.935 feet (at which point you can touch snow) as an inexperienced climber, with little to no acclimatization although it is much recommended to climb Quilotova(a breathtaking volcanic crater filled with blue-green mineral water) before climbing Cotopaxi to get a little acclimatized to altitude. Keep yourself hydrated, drink a lot of water and eat high calorie sweet things like chocolates or nuts before and while climbing. Cocoa(the special medicinal local tea) helps too. The altitude can really get to you so if you feel any sort of head aches or fatigue, do not push yourself. Its best to return.

We started in our tour bus from Quito which had a diverse group which had  a couple from Venezuela, two one from Spain, two boys from France, a retired traveler from USA, mother and daughter from Argentina, my friend from Colombia, a couple from Uruguay and I from India, of course. We crossed through the Avenida de los Volcans, the Lane of Volcanoes which had old volcanoes on either side of the road and we were being told the history, age, dates of last eruption of these volcanoes, as and when we were passing them. I couldn't help but think that this would make the best Geography lesson field trip for kids. 

You say volcanoes and my head imagines red hot magma oozing out of craters and the best way to find motivation to keep climbing is imagining yourself to be on a mission to destroy a ring to save mankind. 

The view of Quito, Just a tiny part of it. Because Quito is HUGE!

Our fun travel group from 7 different countries, thus making very interesting conversions, in Espanol. :)  

The Bici's were travelling with us:

Best part about Living in high altitudes, you have an excuse to eat high calorie food! 

When Elmo meets Monster's inc! 

The sudden contrast in flora and fauna with the difference in altitude. 

First Glimpse of Cotopaxi.

Yes we are there! 

The obligatory tall object picture

Barba de Viejo: Old man's beard

Here, maybe this'll add more perspective :D

And the climb begins!

Quick fix for a leaking nose! My mom hates me doing this.

Finally: Base Camp! 

The view! 

The best part is Biking down the hill. Trust me when I say, it will be the best bike ride of your life! 

The feeling of BMXing down! 

Apart for the accomplishment of climbing the one of the highest active volcanoes in the world you will be humbled by the view and the whole experience. A must do at least once in a life time!  

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