Now to continue the adventure we went to Volcano #2: Cotopaxi
So Cotopaxi is the main volcano but we could see two other volcanos that were inactive:
Which had a cool lake in front of it. They have a nice little walkway to go out but it was under construction. The other volcano was father away so the picture isn't great but:
So that black blimp in the back is the volcano. I still can't believe that I had the opportunity to get to see so many volcanos. They are so very fascinating. Any who so we parked the car more or less here and then started the trek up...and when I say I mean up!
We are this step and not even 1/3 of the way up yet. Also, it was hard to walk because the ground was almost sand like but volcanic. Still a month later I still have volcanic dust in my shoes. Oh and did I mention that to always remember this volcano I stole some volcanic rock...so I know I wasn't suppose to but seriously when am I ever going to have a chance again.
So this is about 1/3 or a little more of the way up. Would like to point out that you can't see our car from this view but it is down there somewhere..haha.
So we made it finally breathing heavily to the rest stop (still not all the way up)
but we made a new friend
15,953 feet! Now you can understand why we were breathing so heavily and not all the way up! I mean I don't think I've ever been that high up before! Oh and an embarrassing point is we were with a group of Frenchmen who were in great shape and they were sittin up here watching us come up that last little bit where I literally took like a step or two and then needed a hot second to get started again! I mean how awful that they could see how much I was struggling and of course little Sonnet is way in front of me and she lives at sea level and I live in the highlands of Peru but of course I'm the one with the most problems breathing haha. From the rest stop we continued to the glacier.
A little snip it about Cotopaxi thanks to Wikipedia:
Cotopaxi is a stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains, located about 28 km (17 mi) south of Quito, Ecuador, South America. It is the second highest summit in the country, reaching a height of 5,897 m (19,347 ft)
Cotopaxi has an almost symmetrical cone that rises from a highland plain of about 3,800 metres (12,500 ft), with a width at its base of about 23 kilometres (14 mi). It has one of the few equatorial glaciers in the world, which starts at the height of 5,000 metres (16,400 ft). It is part of the chain of volcanoes around the Pacific plate known as the Pacific Ring of Fire.
I love that I'm getting to it up all the places that are note worthy! One of the few equatorial glaciers in the WORLD!!!! Awesome!The beginning or end however you want to look at it of the glacier!
The view from inside the glacier...as far back as you can get!
Time for the close up
So I'm sure you can tell by now that this was seriously one of my favorite moments of the whole trip! First because I made it! YES! Second because how weirdly awesome is it to be on a volcano that they say if you go on the other side you can still see steam coming out but have a glacier on this side! So that day was very trying but oh so very worth it and not in our original plans so even better! An addition to our trip!
From the highlands we headed to the JUNGLE...I know how on one trip am I hitting so many different climates and geography. Only God can explain how that is possible BUT man oh man am I thankful!
So we got to the Jungle town of Tena. We spent the night in a nice hostel and got to meet a couple of recent Medical School Grads. Kinda weird but they gave great encouragement to me for following my dreams if that is were they are leading and because of them I am now thinking about going to Tulane in New Orleans. I don't remember their names but one was Bo but they should really do some promo because they essentially recruited me haha. The next day we started our Jungle 3 day 2 night tour:
Step one: Go on a jungle walk with added bonus of caving
Sonnet and I got beutified with some plants...however I didn't turn out that beautiful so you can see Sonnet and just use your imagination of me with the same ruby red plant lips and green nose ring! I mean you will probably come up with a better image than reality would...so thank you I love feeling pretty hahahaha.
Well it is the poop build up of a worm! haha. Yes indeedy this cool looking structure is pure poop.
So I'm not sure but I think this is a type of Bird of Paradise flower...
if it isn't oh well still an interesting looking plant. My friend Sonnet took millions of pictures of all the bugs we saw as well so if you are interested go to my facebook and look for an album she made with me in it. I am only going to post the ones that I thought were the coolest.
So I think this picture is one of my favorites because doesn't it look like a cool pattern for a skirt or some type of fabric?
So I mentioned caving: unfortunately most of the pictures were to dark to really tell anything so once again use your imagination: We had to use our feet on one wall and our hands on the other to balance and scale the cave. Poor Sonnet being so short at points almost didn't fit and would have been stuck in the middle of the jungle! Fortunately we made it and got to hang out with some bats and now can say that I've done some form of cave climbing!
We stayed the night at some resort like place provided by the company. Day 2 we floated the Napo River and went to a community that in the past 10 years has received electricity and land mobility. The entire 150 people of the community are related. Note: don't tell secrets about anyone because the whole town is gonna know what you said hee hee!
We made lunch in a traditional manner:
Getting ready for the river
With this plant we made our cool head gear!
Cocoa plants: you can eat that white stuff and it is pretty tasty!
You know me if you need something smashed! I'm your girl!
What I'm smashing is a type of yuca (in the potato family)
We used it for two things here as a paste and also to make a type of disgusting drink that if you leave long enough ferments into a jungle alcohol.
Cutter Ants! Now they are super bugs!I like this picture a lot because it reminds me of another picture that was taken shortly before leaving for the Peace Corps:
Yeah OSU Graduation! A shout out to one Miss Emily Hays, that artesian fair ring was the best purchase! That ring is seriously gonna go down in history! hee hee
The dog wanted a necklace so of course we obliged. PS he had creepy light light blue eyes!
Oh yes I am a human jungle gym...not just here in the Jungle but also for all little children in my community haha. Made me feel like I was at home!
Because we also had to wait for the food to cook...I was a whirl-a-round for them. After my head was so very very rattled because they all received two turns.
Finally we played a version of ring around the rosy but the it person was a tickler! Cute!The finished product! No I didn't eat the fish...they brought me some chicken special! It is that white/ green thing in the upper right corner! The fruit was dessert.
Getting ready to get back on the river but with some added face paint.
Are you seeing double? haha
That's right I'm cool! haha
No Sonnet I take it back I don't need any coffee...don't worry don't freak out! haha
So day 3 we hiked up the river past 3 other little waterfalls until we got to this beauty. Sonnet seriously knows someone every where and this two fellows she had meet once on the beach in Peru and low and behold we see them at an Ecuadorian waterfall. It was a lot of fun to splash through the river and see all these river spiders that were the size of my hand....shiver and yuck!
When we were walkin a rain storm also came through so not only were we hiking to a waterfall but in a wonderful Jungle storm. With how fast that storm hit and left so did we and continued to our last stop...monkey town!
The monkeys also loved Sonnet. I was very jealous because they kept sittin on her and hanging out but me they avoided like a plague! Only Juan was into me! Thanks buddy! hahaha.
So I'm sure by now you know that this was a vacation that I could never forget! So thankful to have a great travel buddy and can't wait til my next adventure!