Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Quito, Ecuador

Talked to Josh for a little while on the phone this afternoon. Sounds like he's having an amazing time!  From my notes while we talked:

Dinner last night was at a crepe place where he had a tomato-basil-cheese flatbread pizza and split a salad with a fellow climber. He said the menus were huge, with an incredible number of choices. After making the choice for dinner, they were presented with equally extensive (15 page!) menus for dessert. Nancy from Montreal generously shared her selection -- 9 scoops of gelato, raspberries and cake. Dinner was a 2 hour affair, after which they returned to the hotel and went to bed to get ready for today's hike.

They were up at 7 this morning for an almost 2 hour bus ride up the winding mountain road towards Pasochoa. He said that there was one point the road had washed away and all that was between his side of the bus and the air/steep drop-off the side to the mountain was a barrier of caution tape. Nevertheless, they made it to the parking lot without incident and began their 4 hour hike. The weather was a bit damp on the way up and they were all starting to feel the altitude. The heavens opened up and the winds let loose once they got to the top, sending everyone scrambling for gear to cover up from the rain. Then, 15 minutes later, it stopped as suddenly as it started. Everyone was damp, tired, and more than ready to head back, but staying up at the top was part of the acclimatization process, so they hung out for another 45 minutes before starting their descent. The bus picked them up at 3:30 and they were back in Quito by 4:30. On the way back, talk turned to what time to meet for dinner and they staged a mini-revolt, moving the suggested 8pm dinner time up to 7pm. Sounds like the realization that they need more than just beauty sleep to accomplish their climbing goals is setting in!

More when I hear from him again...

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