From Latacunga we drive towards the volcano, which just erupted this morning and presents a gas cloud two kilometers high. It’s a spectacular sight. Passing numerous farms, we drive steadily higher until we arrive at the official entrance of the national park of the same name.
Behind it begins the wilderness. A touch of Canada. Just woods and the looming mountain in the clouds with no sign of building other than the road.
Day 10 without a Breakdown
Not only do we have Cotopaxi in front of us, but also the smaller Ruminahui to our left. Today we circle this volcano.
For this we have to drive into the national park.
There is a modern entrance gate to the park – at least on the south side. We just have to register. Admission is free.
After a few kilometers we reach a shallow lake at an altitude of 3900 meters, the Laguna de Limpiopungo. There are supposed to be many birds here.
We also see a few coots, seagulls and starlings, but they are not really impressive. But it is the vastness, the nature in the mountains.
After the national park, we spontaneously decide to continue following the “volcano route”. The alternative would have been to get back on the highway. We prefer the remote slope at the foot of the volcanoes, although the weather has turned bad and thunderstorms are brewing.
But we don’t let them impress us. We spend the night between four volcanoes!
From our night’s camp at the edge of a gorge we look at the Pasachoa, the Cotopaxi, the Sincholagua and the Ruminahui. A stream flows through the gorge, which then plunges into the depths at the Cascadas de Fuego.
A farming family runs a small mountain hut here and Sara can’t get enough of the homemade ice cream.
We spend the night among the volcanoes, the waterfall and numerous calves grazing next to our wagon.
In the morning the rain stopped.
We can briefly see the Cotopaxi and the Sincholagua in their full splendor at sunrise, before clouds push in front of the crater peaks again shortly afterwards.
We follow the volcano route for another 46 kilometers and pass some waterfalls, the Condor Machay Cascadas and the Cascada Las Gemelas.
This road is small and so broken that our four-wheel drive gets something to do again.
In the meantime I can also hear a suspicious metallic rattling on a front wheel. It’s time for a qualified mechanic to take another look at the car. And the timing is good. Around noon we reach Quito, the capital of Ecuador.