A bad thing to happen abroad is to get sick. Unfortunately for me I had the whole shebang, stuffy nose, sore throat and all I wanted to do was sleep. Of course this was the same day I needed to climb an active volcano.
We stayed the night in a town called Latacunga, full of historic buildings and planes landing on top of your head thanks to the international airport nearby.
We organized a trip to Cotopaxi through our hotel with a guy named Vini. He told us first we would drive in his pick up truck to his mother’s house to drop off our luggage, then we will go to Cotopaxi.
Sketchy I know, but at this point the only thing valuable I had in my pack was an Ecuadorian poncho for my mother.
We dropped off our bags at Vini’s childhood home, waved to his mom, then headed up Cotopaxi.
The drive up is difficult for a new car, and sure enough, Vini’s old pick up truck broke down before we got to the trailhead. We waited at the museum at the base of the volcano, and drank coffee and tea while he called up his friend with a new truck.
That’s when we met our new guide, Tomas. He was a sweet older man who didn’t speak a lick of English but was the best tour guide I could ask for.
He went slow with us as we ascended the steepest trail I have ever been on. There would be heavy wind one second, threatening to blow you into a canyon, and the next second it was still. It was probably the most difficult trail I’ve done, especially since I couldn’t breathe, but we made it.