Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, Feb 19th, Quito, Ecuador


We stayed at a really nice place last night.  Another hacienda, but this time one that simon Bolivar and Alexander Humboldt stayed in.  It's right in the middle of the major volcanos of Ecuador, and we could see one of them from the grounds.  Today, we were going to see a volcano as close as we could get, no matter what.

On the way, Diego asked us if we could stop by a project that a Canadian had funded and established.  It's a school, and an organic garden, and a weaving collective, high up at 14, 500 feet. But it's been closed for about a year, and Diego had hoped it was open again.

It's a beautiful project, but the children who had been going there were now going to another school closer to the big town.  The organic garden had been left untended after the second year's crop was not as successful as the first.  We talked with a remaining family, and took photos of one of the last children.  Diego left some money he had raised, and we said goodbye.

On the way up to Chimorazo National Preserve, Diego made sure we understood that the flora in Ecuador absolutely is spectacular and plentiful at very high altitudes.  And vicunas, and hummingbirds, and eagles and hawks.
We drove (actually Dannie did) all the way up to a 16, 465 foot refuge at the snow line to see a real volcano (Chimorazo), and it did not disappoint us.  It left plenty unseen, but that seems to be the lot of volcanos in Ecuador.  But it made our day.

The other thing I forgot to say earlier is how impressed we are that the Ecuadorians have found every square inch of these mountains to farm.  And the result is a beautiful quilt of green patches that feeds this nation well.  We benefit every day from the great food we've eaten, and from the people who work hard to make it happen.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Tuesday, Feb 19th, Quito, Ecuador

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