32. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Cotopaxi Part I

A snow-peaked mountain in Ecuador's Cotopaxi National Park

Thursday June 22nd, Rocks in my shoes

A 6:30 breakfast to get to the train ride that wasn’t to be. We took a taxi to the sunny, shiny, bright, immaculate train station, and found not a soul there in either direction.

After we had sat for a bit, a woman came along and said there was no train until Saturday, even though the website had said it ran on Thursday through Saturday.

Thanks to a painting in the station, we could imagine a comparison between before and after.

It was an even longer trek this time to the Old City in Quito, but once again, there were interesting sights to lighten the load I was hauling on my poor feet up and down the streets. 

A fun surprise was to find more hummingbird art at the Visitors Center, this time in the ladies room, taped with masking tape to the wall.

We inquired about the Festival of the Sun, but apparently that was no longer going on. The next best possibility seemed to be to go to Cotopaxi, the oldest active volcano in Ecuador.


a very talkative and expressive young man, led this all day tour and hike up the mountain. Both in English and in Spanish, he told us everything we did and did not need to know about snacks, schedules, geological and biological information, prefacing every paragraph with either “my friends” or “mis amigos” as appropriate.

We picked up Gladys Iza, one of the park interpretive guides, near the Cotopaxi National Park.

In spite of my hiking practice during the Save the Frogs! adventure, the cold, altitude, incline, and Chaco sandals proved my undoing on this lava strewn volcano.

While the others went around on a longer less steep road on the brown ridge on the left, the bus driver, Carlos, offered his arm to get me to the rock on the right at the second curve near the red lava.

This marked just the first third of the trip, at which point I bailed (with all apologies to our dear friend Minda for applying the word to a person she sees as an intrepid jungle and forest trekker, ha!).