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    • Day 29

      Devil's Nose Hike aka Condor Hike

      July 3, 2023 in Ecuador ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      This hike deserves its own, standalone footprint!

      The hostel manager told the next people to check-in that Billy No Mates over here, wanted to do a hike to Devils Nose but not alone. They agreed to let me join them the next day (a German couple called Esther and Alex). I was a bit nervous of the hike (strenuous), holding them back - them being younger and fitter and more serious hikers (they had fancy hiking poles which indicates their commitment).

      We aimed to get to a point called The Condor, which we thought was in the top of the mountain called Devil's Nose.

      I had said that I might turn back as long as I could find my own way back. They spoke English and we got off to a great start. Decent place, perfect weather, Alex in charge of directions. After 90 minutes, I realised I had to return or commit to staying with them for the duration as I would no longer be able to find my way back. All was well so I pressed on with them.

      The path was difficult as the decline in tourists meant it was not well trodden. I tried going down on my bum but got thorns in it. I had to ask Alex for one of his 2 poles.

      We went off piste to avoid some very large grazing cows (mummy, daddy and baby) who were tied to the narrow path. It involved some rock climbing skills I didn't know how I had.

      We arrive at a toll booth, locked, unmanned. So we climbed over barb wire, with a steep drop, to break in. We didn't come this far to be hindered by a chain and padlock.

      We eventually arrive at The Condor, which appears to be a giant condor sculpture. Stunning views, fresh air, just us. Wow! I was pleased to have made it this far and knew I could manage the walk back.

      Within 20 minutes, the place was filled with a large group of very fit-looking, Lycra-clad hikers. Unusual because they looked more like a running club than hikers.

      We got chatting. They were doing the 20km loop to the Devil's Nose. (The distance may not sound much until you appreciate the steepness).

      Oh, we said ...Are we not already on the Devil's Nose?
      Hahaha No, you are at the viewing point of Devil's Nose.

      Cue my German buddies deliberating for 20 minutes whether they should do the full loop, ... For the pictures, for the view of the zig zag railway track, for the kudos of doing it.

      I stayed quiet. I'm a tagalong. I can't dictate what route we go and I won't use my lack of ability to get in the way of them doing what they want. Inside, I am desperate and forlorn. I know it will be hell for me. I am slower downhill as I have a mental block over falling, as people that walk with me know. These fitties are t telling my Germans it's a 40 minute descent. That's not Turki time. I know I can't go back alone as I will surely get lost.

      I then saw 4 other individuals going back in the direction I had come. My Germans were not making a decision, so I said a hasty Goodbye and ran after the 4 randoms. They were also going a longer route back (but not as steep) so I joined their gang of Spanish and Polish backpackers.

      Back in town, I met with the Germans for lunch and said thank you and goodbye. I had had a lovely walk thanks to them and felt really good. I had a late afternoon nap to recover 💤
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    • Day 95

      Laguna Quilotoa

      February 9 in Ecuador ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Über eine hochandine Holperstrecke ging es wieder auf über 3900m Höhe. Quilotoa ist der Name einer Caldera & des darin befindlichen Kratersees. Es ist der westlichste Vulkan in den ecuadorianischen Anden. Auf 3914m Höhe, Durchmesser der Caldera ca. 3km. Seit dem letzten Ausbruch im Jahr 1280 liegt in der Caldera ein bis zu 250m tiefer grüner Kratersee.Read more

    • Day 60

      25-6 Llagos

      June 25, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      De ochtend begint met een up-date van Karins Iphone die maar niet wil lukken en een daverende ruzie. Komt weer goed bij pepermunt zonder munt.
      Met de hoogtelijnen mee betekent tevens toch nog 5% klimmen en soms meer. Na de eerste 15 km wil het nu bij mij niet meer. We stoppen om kwart over drie bij een acceptabel plekje. Niet zo mooi als die van de lunch.
      Hebben we bijna 19 km gefietst, zien we nog steeds Chunchi liggen. 😕
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