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?


I took the new Zaruma volunteer (pictured above in the hoodie) on an overnight trip up to the Laguna de Chinchilla, supposed haunt of witches, medicine men (we actually met a girl on the hitchhiked ride back down yesterday who had gone up to that part of the region just to visit with a medicine man, no joke... she said it was to cure her of her cough and runny nose and allergies. I asked her if maybe she was sick because she was riding in the back of a pickup truck in a windy drizzle with no jacket or hat on, but of course that was NOT the problem, she assured me!), evil supernatural storms, and billions upon billions of dollars worth of lost Incan gold. We did not find gold or witches or anything, but we DID encounter some fierce 40 mph winds, which coupled with temperatures in the 40s or lower, made for an interesting night.

Even amidst the frigid andean windblown wastes, beauty finds a way. Here´s a little clump of flowers holding tight to the edge of the enchanted laguna, mysterious islands in the distance.

_____ and I (I don't have a good nickname for him yet and I avoid using real names on the blog for security reasons) wandering the paramo above the lake, seeking a vantage point to take promotional photos. Maaaaaybe this wasn't quite the best season to come here taking promotional photos....

Here's when it cleared up a bit. _____ is down there on the lower left with his hands spread, and that light-colored lump on the land a little to the left of center is our tent. When we set it up the first day at around 12:30 pm we couldn´t even tell that we were on a peninsula it was so cloudy.

On the way back down to the road, there is a stretch of trail that runs along a small canal which passes through a patch of dense mountain forest, all dripping with moss and strange subalpine plantlife. Very similar to what grows in and around the caves on Cerro de Arcos, also a little above 12,000 feet.


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