Plan: Volcano no 1– Gua Gua Pichincha; pronounced ‘wha wha’ (4794 m, 15,728 ft).
Felt better in the morning.
6am – packed our bags, dressed into climbing gear.
Double breakfast in Rumiloma – scrambled and poached eggs.
8 people with food poisoning from the first restaurant– Andy T, John, Chesh, Nigel, Pete croke, Wynne, Ossy and Amber.
Set off for guagua Pichincha at 8am in 4×4 vehicles
Pi – water
Chin – to cry
Cha – of
Chani – good
‘the god that cries” – Pichincha.
GuaGua – one of the 3 major peaks that make up the Pichincha massif. Other 2 peaks – Padre Encantado and to the north the extinct Rucu – old Pichincha.
GuaGua – most recent explosion – Oct 1999 – sprinkled 2mm ash over quito. 1660 – dumped 40cm – left the city in darkness for 4 days.
3 Toyota Landcruisers – petrol – fuel $1-10 per galloon – very cheap.
I was in the back with young Faz – 16 years old from Bolivia (father was a friend of ossy’s but has died) – roads – very very bumpy, 2 hours travelling. Also in car – ossy – driver, Bob Norster (front), middle row wynne, Christine, Keith.
Listened to good 70s music on radio – bee gees, Gloria Gaynor etc., great sing a long.
We had 3 guides – Ossy, Fa (short for Fabrizio) and Romono
Romono lead the party
Ossy took care of John Edwards who had an initial shock at the effects of altitude.
Started climb at 10am – finished at 2-30pm.
Very tough going on the breathing – I was very short of breath.
Saw steam coming out of the volcano.
As well as trekking, we did some technical climbing on rocks too.
However, we all did well and Ossy was pleased with our trekking and climbing ability.
Transferred then to our next destination for 2 days, Chilcabamba at Cotopaxi national park. 2.5 hour transfer to outskirts of Quito and then once again – bumpy roads. Passed through a very interesting town – where there was a huge rodeo taking place. Big party , drinking going on too.
Reached destination at 5pm
Shared a 5 bed rooftop room with Wynne Harries, beautiful view of Cotiopaxi through our velux rooftop window.
Dinner 7pm – very tasty trout.
Post dinner group chat and bed by 9-45pm