17.09.2007 - 17.09.2007 22 °C
Hola from Quito, 2nd highest capital city in the world! Altitude so far has not posed too much of a problem, but I did experience some difficulty ascending the stairs of The Secret Garden hostel with my 20kg mochillo on my back. We flew in over the avenue of the volcanos, including majestic snow-capped Cotopaxi; it was breath-taking to see it for the first time from the air. Some 60km from Quito, the mountain rises over 5000 metres above sea-level, and is still active. It is expected to erupt again sometime soon, I was cheerfully told by my travelling companion Luis, a retired Ecuadorian engineer who was returning home after a 6 month stay with his daughter in London, after the sad death of his wife from cancer. He was emotional as we approached the wide-spread panorama that is Quito. He invited me to have coffee and a tour of the old town with him tomorrow.
I think this will be a lovely way to see the city. Perhaps after my orientation meeting in the Jatun Sacha office, where I will meet some of the staff of one of Ecuador's most well-known conservation organizations. They will give me all the information I need, and directions to La Hesperia, the cloud forest reserve which will be my home for the next ten weeks.
So, to my family and friends, I'm safe; I'm sound; I'm here! XX