In Quito Preparing for the Cotopaxi Climb

Posted by: | December 06, 2009
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Ecuador

It’s Casey and Billy checking in from down south! We’ve been hanging out in Quito for the last couple of days and the whole crew is already having a blast, and being situated at over 9,000 ft, we’ve already begun our acclimatization for our climbs. The first day around town was excellent. After a great breakfast at “Spicy” aka the hotel restaurant, we hit the town on a city tour to get a dose of history and colonial architecture. We had the chance to visit the Basilica, Presidential Palace, among other incredible buildings dating back from Spanish colonial times. This place is OLD, compared to American cities. Quito was founded in 1532! After the city tour, the group split. Half of the team headed to the Plaza de Toros and the other half went to a cool museum along the equator. The crew at the plaza had the fortune to witness a series of bullfights. Definitely barbaric but also a unique cultural experience unique to countries with Spanish influence. The other team enjoyed the interesting exhibits and experiments at the equatorial museum. The evening brought a lively night out for the team. After reuniting back at the hotel everyone went out for an amazing dinner. Local music and dancing was a great addition to the dining experience. Filet Mignon, Malbec? Who knew that you could acclimatize in such style!

Day 2 has thus far been a blast as well. The entire team headed up to the volcano Pichincha for a little exercise to help with the acclimation process. After a 40 minute gondola ride we were deposited high on the slopes of the volcano and were greeted by sweeping views of Cayambe and the city below. The high point for our hike brought us to approximately 14,300 ft.; nearly the summit of Mt. Rainier! The whole team is climbing and acclimating well thus far. Tonight, being Sunday, will hopefully turn out to be a bit quieter than the previous but we still plan to have another nice meal out on the town! Tomorrow we will to leave the city following an early wake-up and head out to the Illinizas for some more training.

We hope all is well back home and will check back in as the trip progresses.

Viva Quito!

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