Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ecuador High Altitude Holiday Expedition : Dispatch 1

Ecuador High Altitude Expedition: 
Dec 17-31, 2010

Lead Guide: Pepe Landazuri

Hi – this is Pepe calling from the summit of Pasachoa.  We all made it up here a few minutes ago, and now we are going to have lunch.  It’s not a perfect day, it’s cloudy and we can’t see Cotopaxi which is normally a good view from here, but it’s not raining, so that is good.  This is a great place to have lunch and we all have an appetite after the hike up to the top here at 4200 meters  [13,780 feet].

Everyone is used to the 2895 [9500-foot] elevation of Quito and Otavalo, so this was a good, easy step up 1300 meters for  adjustment to the altitude.  Tomorrow everyone will be ready for more.  We’re going to climb Rucu Pichincha instead of Gua Gua Pichincha because [transmission was garbled here].  So that will get us to 4784 m
eters [15,696].

Yesterday we had a good visit to Otavalo market.  There was a lot going on and it was very interesting.  We had rain, so that was ideal.  After the market we went to Lake Cuicocha and had lunch there.

Anyway, yesterday and today were really good days and people are adjusting the the altitude really well.

Here’ Ruth who wants to send a message home:  ‘I am very happy. And I am very thankful it’s not raining , and I am very thankful for the Gore-Tex jacket my mom bought me.  It’s keeping me dry.  I’m missing everybody.”

OK, in a little while we are going to hike down and then make the drive back to Quito.  We will call you tomorrow from Rucu Pichincha.  That’s the news for now.”

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