Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ecuador High Altitude Expedition and Antisana/Illiniza Expedition: Dispatch 11

Ecuador High Altitude Expedition and Antisana/Illiniza Expedition: 

Dec 17-31, 2010
High Altitude Expedition climbers: Tim Turay, Kat Lange, Stuart Lowden, Tamsin Ainscow, Ahmad Baasiri, John Davis, and Ruth Hartmann.

Illiniza / Antisana Expedition climbers: Ty Speer and Natalie Garner.

Lead Guides: Pepe Landazuri and Henry Moya

December 30, 2010. Pepe called today at 9:40pm Ecuador and US Eastern time.

We spoke to Pepe directly a few minutes ago, but we were unable to maintain the connection with him, so we received very limited information tonight.

"Hello!  All is well with us in Banos!  [right and below] We had a good rest last night and a good day here today.  Everyone just had dinner, and a few few are having a beer now, but everyone is heading to bed or soon will be.  We're getting up at 6:00am and leaving at 7:00 because we need to be back in Quito before noon when a lot of the streets close – including the one in front of our hotel – to begin New Year's Eve celebrations.  

There will be a lot of parading around, people wearing masks, and displaying effigies supposed to embody the old year that is about to end.  In the evening they will burn the many effigies in the streets, symbolically getting rid of the old year so the new year can be welcomed in.  It will be slightly crazy and a lot of fun.  There should be some good music on the street as well .  .  ."

Editor's note:  Here are two videos of New Year's Eve in Quito from the last few years.  They amateur videos, but they capture some of the look and flavor of the celebration of the outgoing year.  You can fast forward through parts of them if you want to check them out.

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