The next day is still cloudy when we start from Alausi, but around noon we finally have some sun. One of the big mountains on our right must be Sangay, a highly active volcano 5296 meters high. We have left the Panamericana and are driving along a small road through the villages.
The women and men are wearing gorgeous and colorful dresses and ponchos today, but I don’t know if there is a special holiday today.
Day 3 without a breakdown
Even when working in the fields, people wear nice clothes. We see a lot of people with their hoes at work in their fields. Especially old people. Young people probably left the village for the city.
The volcano on their doorstep leaves people cold, despite its high level of danger. There is an entry in Wikipedia about the Sangay:
Sangay has erupted at least eleven times during the Holocene epoch. Its most recent eruption began on 26 March 2019, and it has remained in continuing eruption status (intermittent eruptive events without a break of 3 months or more) as of 15 October 2021.
Sangay (also known as Macas, Sanagay, or Sangai) is an active stratovolcano in central Ecuador. It exhibits mostly strombolian activity. Geologically, Sangay marks the southern boundary of the Northern Volcanic Zone, and its position straddling two major pieces of crust accounts for its high level of activity. Sangay’s approximately 500,000-year-old history is one of instability; two previous versions of the mountain were destroyed in massive flank collapses, evidence of which still litters its surroundings today.
On the way we come to a police checkpoint. These are very rare in Ecuador. The officer is very friendly, only takes a quick look at the papers and asks, fascinated, how our trip went.
We also have to refuel.
The diesel really is as cheap as it says on the internet. I rub my eyes and the numbers are still the same: $1.75 for a gallon of diesel. Not a litre. A gal! So just 43 cents per liter. You like to fill up there.
I’m going up the highs slowly because if I’m going too fast the temp gauge will go up. If I drive down the hill too fast, the brakes make themselves felt in my nose.
At least we can see more of the landscape that way. In the afternoon we reach Riobamba, which lies at the foot of the largest mountain and volcano in Ecuador: the Chimborazo.