Boxes, boxes, boxes...February 8 in Ecuador
Parque National de Cajas (Boxes) annoyed us a little as they were so strict about dogs that we even got shouted at for letting Maya have a pee in the gravel car park. We nearly left straight away, but much to Maya's annoyance (she knows when we put on hiking gear) we decided to go for a walk away. She rewarded us with chewing my new Panama hat (no, they don't come from Panama but Ecuador) bolsa wood box to smithereens.
Despite this I was super glad we walked as it was gorgeous scenery with lumpy outcrops (hence boxes) and small lakes everywhere. It wasn't an easy hike up to the 4,000 odd summit with a path winding up narrow gullies where there was no right to be a way through, but the rewards at the top were breathtaking.
As the walk only took a few hours we decided to carry on down the road to find a camping spot, and despite setting off in bright sunshine we soon were enveloped in clouds so we could barely see the next dashed white line in the centre of the road. After 2 hours we emerged from the mist and found ourselves 4,000 metres lower in the flat land that runs to the coast. We found what was described as thermales but was in fact a slightly warm, slightly smelly concrete pools full of slightly annoying kids! Nevertheless it was nice to clean up and it made a good place to camp for the night, but the dramatic change in altitude meant we back in the hot and sweaty climate for the foreseeable future.Read more