|The actual X|
|The wrong X|
|Hemispheres Apart :-(|
Then on to the main town which has an old sector that was equal first to be placed on the World Heritage List and is one of the best preserved in the world. Lots and lots of churches; there is a whole line of them working up to the Virgin Mary statue on top of El Panecillo hill. At night we went back to the old town to eat in the main plaza area and watched a performance of traditional dancing for a gold coin donation. Ecuador is reallllyyyy cheap with taxi flag fall starting at about 35c and the half hour trip to the old town costing $1.70. They will try not to turn on the meter and negotiate instead, but at those prices you don't mind paying an extra dollar.
|The Virgin Mary on |
El Panecillo Hill
|Wild horses on the way to Cotop|
This was a good move, even though my head was bursting: the view at the glacier was brilliant, the shape and textures took your breath away, let alone the normal volcanic colours on the way up and down. There were some crazy young guys who arrived after us, and I will leave that vision to the video I'll post below. Going down took a third of the time, as going down steeply in volcanic soil is surprisingly easy. The soil is damp and soft but also firm; you tend to step into it and sink slightly which stops you from sliding, but not so much that the next step is difficult. It takes a bit of practice (we have had lots), so there were some slips on to their bums for the people around us.
|Coca Leaf Tea|
Quito is a beautiful city that gave us some unique moments and has a charm that reminded me of Cusco in Peru. But allow the time, and maybe some pills, to adjust to the altitude when you come here, or preferably take land transport up and stay at several places on the way to adjust to it slowly.
Trivia Note: Next door to Cotopaxi is the Chimborazo volcano. This volcano is the closest the Earth gets to the sun, closer than Mount Everest due to the bulge at the Equator. Measured from the centre of the Earth Chimborazo is higher but at sea level Everest wins. I just found that interesting :-)