Sensational Secret Garden Cotopaxi!

Beginning my long journey south I took a taxi to the villaflora bus station from the hostel, then immediately jumped on a fairly modern bus that was leaving for Machachi. I had instructions to get off the bus by the ‘statue of the man on the horse’ which is on the panamericana at Machachi, and in the end, easy to spot! Made me think of the statue in Winchester. Immediately the taxi driver I’d booked came over and asked if I was Emily. A 50 minute very bumpy road away from the town up the side of the volcano later, I arrived at the beautiful Secret Garden! I love this place! Felt really uplifted. 🙂

Rumiñahui (4,712m), then South and North Iliniza (5,248m & 5,126m) and Corazon (4,788m) just behind the chimney.

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Cotopaxi (5,897m)

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Sincholagua (4,898m)
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All together now 🙂
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The super-cosy dorm, no electricity, just candlelight and a wood-burning stove
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The view from the dorm room window 🙂
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And the same view literally a minute later. Where did that fog come from!
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Strange little bird perched outside!

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Also super-cosy main house, and jacuzzi. No need for me to do any work here, just relax. Blissful!

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Met the three dogs Daisy, Mash and Milo; a missionary family who’ve moved to Ecuador; and 4 young brits travelling together with their heads screwed on! And had the best chicken pie ever for dinner!!

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The next morning we went for a fairly short (altitude 3,500m) walk to a waterfall, the source of all the water for the hostel. The bumps are not hobbit holes, they’re volcanic material from an eruption 100,000 years ago.

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Had to climb over boulders and do a bit of rock climbing above the water to
reach the bigger falls!

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Oh yes he did!

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Not me though

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Such a still, quiet evening. Just the sound of frogs:

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And then me and the next group of people staying (all Swiss or German) went to climb up to the glacier of Cotopaxi. The landscape easily evokes eruptions raining lumps of rock down on the valleys between the volcanoes. Last eruption was over 130 years ago, but Cotopaxi is still classed as active. It’s the one that gets all the attention from tourists in these parts: I wonder if the other ones nearby feel neglected?

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Think that’s as far as I could’ve gone; unlike the impressive Jutta, Bekki, Matt… you all must be bonkers!

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As we descended the cloud started to clear:

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Yum! Warm and sweet!

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The yellow rectangle is the refuge we reached at 4,864m, and the glacier tongue was the one to the right, at 5,100m. The red rocks are where the glacier has recently retreated. Just ten years ago, the bit we climbed up from the car park would’ve been under ice.

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Posted in Cotopaxi, Ecuador, How I'm feeling, People
3 comments on “Sensational Secret Garden Cotopaxi!
  1. Love the pictures and I really love Ecuador. Just wanted to share my Ecuadorian adventure, hope you enjoy.
    http://www.atruetalltale.wordpress.com

  2. Rach says:

    Lovely pics Em, looks amazing! x

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