Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ecuador 10

July 17, 2008

We visted Volcaan Negro today. What ended up being a 9 mile round trip day in the blazing sun was a breathtaking and exhausting visit. The Chiva (open bus) picked us up at 8am for a 45 minute drive up the side of the volcano into the low clouds. The plant life was lush with ferns, moss, and the invasive Guava that we love, but is taking over on the islands. We hiked up a short 30 minute muddy trail to reach the rim of the crater. It was HUGE!!!! We were all impressed and I was defiantly surprised, as I’ve seen numerous Craters, but non even a quarter the size of this one! Green around the outside with the black lava from the irruption just two years ago filling the inside. Pablo once again captured our attention with his knowledge and facts to share. Engaging us with his questions and ability to include the knowledge the group already had. We got to walk along the rim for a couple hours taking photos, learning about the volcano and facts that Pablo had to share.
It was unworldly and really hot! We walked around the rim for a while until we arrived at some beautiful trees for lunch. After lunch we descended through a couple lava flows and passing Cactus that was over 800 years old. The Chicos were incredible. Much smaller then the crater we had passed before, but dramatic landscape and a variety of lave to look at. We took photos and took a couple minutes of silent at the high point to enjoy, reflect and just be. When Pablo asked if we were ready the students all mooned a ‘noooooo’ then we all laughed, because he was right! Nobody wanted to leave, yet I think we were all ready to be out of the sun.
They are all fast walkers and our return took no time at all, we stopped briefly at the tree for snacks, water a sunscreen and continued down the path entering back into the mist that we arrived in. The climate is so unique up there.

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