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cotopaxi (or: the art of leaving)

I’m always leaving and so you think I’d be good at it but I’m not. It’s still a wrench, a sundering. On my last night in Tumbaco I return to the Casa de Ciclista to say goodbye to friends there.

I leave Caroline, at the Casa de Ciclista, still waiting for parts...

...for her and Arturo's damaged rear tandem wheel.

Arturo and Salva play the waiting game at their computers. Arturo (left) is Caroline's other half - co-pilot of the tandem. Salva (right) is a Spaniard who has been on the road on his bicycle for seven years. His bike, like mine when I arrived here, is currently in pieces. We met, previously, in Panama, after a lengthy internet acquaintanceship, to discuss possible Darien crossings ideas and now have plans to ride together for a few days. However, I have had my fill of Tumbaco and decide to leave ahead of him with the hope of meeting him on the road.

Once the leaving is done the unknown future becomes now and the world appears anew – within a day’s ride of Quito and Tumbaco you can find yourself in the presence of Cotopaxi, one of the most perfect volcanic cones in the world.

Cotopaxi: peeking over the hill.

Early morning sunshine, approaching the park's north entrance, where other volcanic peaks loom.

Getting bigger.

Despite the grandeur of volcanic peaks, it pays to look down, too. Does anyone know of a good online Ecuadorean wildflower reference resource? There is an incredibly diverse range of wildflowers here and I'm curious to know if they are specific to this time of year and generally find out a bit more about them.

No more fences, inside the park.

Skirting the foot of the volcano.

These thistle-like flower are incredibly prolific at altitude.

Dawn at my idyllic (and not quite legitimate) camp site above the laguna...

...allows a lingering study...

...of gathering light.

Afternoon clouds gathering in.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Alan | May 23, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Hi Anna,

    The first dawn shot of the volcano is excellent. Well done.


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