Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?


So I just want to post one picture from my omnibus' reconnect conference in Mindo. This was after drinking a box of Clos (Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon) and then dancing for a while in a club. It was however BEFORE getting down to my skivvies and jumping into the pool a little after midnight.

OK so here is the other volunteer who will be going up the big volcano with me in a few days. We've been freaking eachother out with nerves for the last few and just met our guide tonight. Now we're both just ready to GO. This pic was taken during the El Clima (PC Ecuador volunteer newsletter of which I am a staff member) meeting a few days ago. Yep. Burgers. Cheeseburgers. FAAAAT cheeseburgers! I miss them already.

So to prepare for our climb up the volcano Cotopaxi (2nd highest mountain in Ecuador, long considered -incorrectly I think- to be the world's highest active voclano...), we climbde Illiniza Norte yesterday morning. Norte is the 8th highest mountain in the country and is almost 17,000 feet high. The trip at least in our case involved a bus ride from Quito, getting dropped off too late because the ayudante fell asleep and failed to let us off at the right spot, walking along the Panamerican Highway for a half hour, then catching a ride with some garbage men (they threw our backpacks in with the garbage!), then taking a bus in to a small town, grabbing a lunch for $1.50, then paying a guy in a pickup truck ten bucks to take us up to the trailhead a few thousand feet higher, then hiking for two hours uphill (doesn't sound like much compared to what's in store for us on Cotopaxi!!!) to reach the refuge hut at about 4765 meters. (15,630 feet). We met some German people there who gave us tea, and then we hit the sack. Woke up at 5:30 and were on the trail upwards at 7 minutes past 6 in the morning to go for the summit. And of course take these pictures.

My hiking pana' during the climb up Illiniza Norte. That's Illiniza Sur behind her, which is a few hundred feet higher and has some permanent glacier stuff going on.

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE is Cotopaxi. 19,700 something feet high. It's a beast. But not to technical of a climb, or so we've been told. Just a lot of up, and then some more up, and then a good deal of UUUUUUUP. The plan was to summit the morning of Friday the 13th but the weather had our guide decide to push the date back one day to wait for clearer skies. Muscles and determination and a fair amount of luck will get us up there, and if not, well what a cool story it will make anyways.


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