One Million steps and few thousand more travel blog

Alison feeling slightly better until the market

Sheep and Lambs for sale

Llamas for sale

Guinea Pigs for sale

Ducks for sale

Freshish Fish from sale

Freshly cooked ham

Got bargains now heading home

Cotapaxi peeking out of the clouds

Clouds hanging low over Ruminahul

Was up at 04:30 for a 5:30 start as we're heading for Cotapaxi Volcano, unfortunately it was very overcast and drizzling. We were hopeful that the clouds would clear as we headed some 100km south to Cotapaxi. Some two hours later as we neared the National Park the clouds clung hard to the mountains and Diago in his usual swagger, said we go to the cattle market. We were not prepared d for the sights that we witnessed. It was a real live market selling every animal that you could wish for. I have never heard pigs squeal as much, cows and calves moo so, or ducks, geese, chickens, dogs, Guinea pigs, and even live catfish grunt as much. The smells added to the noise, the sales, the kids as well as the human kids on the breast, everything and anything seemed to go. The video is worth a watch when I return.

After this attack on our senses we headed to Cotapaxi National Park, the signs were not go but the skies seemed to clear, it was as if the gods were toying with us, just a few glimpses of the snowed capped 5900m Cotapaxi Volcano. Disappointing it was all we saw. The two other surrounding volcanoes named Sincholagua and Ruminahui showed themselves, one of them a famous for the Inca King that threw himself to death in the volcano along with the gold and silver that was collected for the Spanish.

We then embarked on a walk around the Lake adjacent to Cotapaxi. Here we witnessed some lively action with Dave and Irene having to find a location away from the snakes and lizards to have a joint toilet stop by some remote stream. I must admit the lizards down stream seemed to liven up after this deluge. We saw a few wild horses as well as a some birds and eagles which made the walk a little more exciting. Deigo tried to keep our flagging spirits up, but we had hoped to see the smoking Volcano. Fortunately Alison had perked up a bit.

We left the Lake and headed to a local hut where we were served Chicken soup and chicken stew, which seemed to be exactly the same. However it was warm and wet and filled a gap. The lady that had made the email was a big mamma, so there was much thanking. We actually got a stamp in the passports for surving this gastronomic test!!!!

We then got into the van with Fasto driving like Mario Andretti in the dark, cloudy, and now wet roads heading to Riobamba. We arrived at about 5 pm after 12 hours since we started, slightly exhausted and shaken. So had a couple of cocktails. Deigo had ordered a special stomach calming drink for Alison which failed to appear.

Dave, Irene and I played some pool, luckily I won but Dave and Irene thought I was cheating as I played with the slope.

We had the evening meal and welcome drink ( a sort of a hot spiced banana drink), then we had the incident that shall be known as the "Half Board Incident"

We believe we were on half board the hotel said we were not. Things got heated and after a mass debate the manageress said we would sort it in the morning at 5am as we leave.

Sure as eggs are eggs, nothing had been sorted, we were assisted by Diego who after sorting the issue out with head office and the night porter agreed we were on half board and the $130 bill was reduced. Left in the dark and wet of the morning and started towards to the Devils Nose Railway

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