Last saturday I took a bus to Riobamba about 2 hours bus ride from here. Riobamba is the starting point for tours to the highest mountain of Ecuador, the Chimborazo. There’s lot’s of myths around this mountain and at least I want to mention some of them.
Here’s my favorite:
The volcano El Altar (altitude 5.320 meters) was in former times higher than the Chimborazo (altitude 6.310 meters), both volcanos are males! Chimborazo is married to the volcano Tungurahua and she had an affair with El Altar and when Chimborazo got hold of that he was beating El Altar with a hammer to his todays form and altitude and whenever there’s a thunderstorm with flashes in the region of Chimborazo and Tungurahua, than it’s because there throwing angry looks at each other! And on Saturday the Tungurahua was even more angry and there was again some eruptions, but since sunday the volcano is quite again.
With regards to the last eruption of the volcano, there’s no proven information and goes from 1.500 to 10.000 years ago.
In August 1976 flight SAETA 232 was missed on the way from Quito to Cuenca and at that time it wasn’t clear what happened. And it was in October 2002 that remainders of the aircraft have been found by some mountaineers.
And finally because of the earth curvature and Chimborazo being close to the Equator it’s reported to be the highest elevation of the planet measured from the center of the globe.
But back to present! On sunday morning Cheryl, William and me started our tour to the Chimborazo, going by car with our bikes on top to the “Reserva de Producción de Fauna Chimborazo” and in that park to the highest by car accessible point, that Carrel Refugio on an altitude of 4.850 meters. From there we took a 2 km hike to the Whymper Refugio on 5.000 meters. After having a lunch I started my decent on the mountain bike to the park entrance on 4.000 meter and back on the main road, we drove mostly downhill 46 kilometers on the former PanAmericana to our final destination the city of Ambato on 2.600 meter which up to now I just new for its regional Hospital! On the tour we’ve seen many, many Vicuñas (type of lama), a hawk, beautiful landscapes, a little creek turning on our way down to a river, no other bikers, but lot’s of locals on foot and horse and every now and then, the clouds allowed a peek to the summit of the volcano. Thanks William for being a wonderful Tour Guide and being so patient with us, making Kodak stops every now and finally not making it on time! And thanks to Cheryl choosing this tour and not the train ride, which would have been way less amazing and for all the fun we had on that tour!
After returning to Baños all my bags are packed (it’s just one), I’m ready to go and because of the nice weather I decided to do my comments another time in one of the hot pools. This time I was at the Termas la Virgen in the center of Baños which is a perfect place to go during the week! – It’s time to say goodbye to Baños after so many months and especially after the last weekend I’m ready for new adventures and experiences!