We head out from the capital city of Quito and down into the valley with stunning views of the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Once out of the city we will pass through the Valle de los Chillos named for the ´Chillo´ trees (Guaba fruit) that grow in this temperate valley. On to the highland town of El Tingo, famous locally for its therapeutic thermal waters and ‘Hornado’, a typical Ecuadorean highland dish of roast pork. We continue our journey passing through Alangasi, where the central plaza, church and park are the stage for many religious festivals.
We leave Quito from the south travelling alongside the length of the city out into the valley below. The Avenue of the Volcanoes opens up before us and we head south towards Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world.
Some would say Quito is a little too close to its neighbor, the active volcano, Guagua Pichincha, the city literally wrapping itself around, and climbing up, the eastern slopes. Guagua, ‘baby’ in Quichua, has at times terrorized the city expelling gases and ash over Quito since the first recorded eruption in 1565. Guagua Pichincha has erupted twelve times, its eruption in 1566 sent ash as far as Panama and its latest, in 1999, a 15km plume of ash and gas over Quito. Its crater, 600m deep and 1.6km wide opens to the west and from the depths fetid, brimstone, vapor rises up from the volcanic vents. This spectacular site and the surrounding landscape are well deserving of the short walk from our drop off point at the refuge to the volcanoes fourth summit at 4776m.
We leave Quito south travelling alongside the length of the city out into the valley below. The Avenue of the Volcanoes opens up before us and we head south towards Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world.
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