Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spying on a Volcano

La Casa del Arbol
Since we last posted anything, we have been at a farm, the beach, a city, and now the town of baths. Baños de Agua Santa is three and 1/2 hours south of Quito and it is surrounded on all sides by mountains.

Yesterday we climbed to the top of one those very steep and green monsters. We were going to see the Volcano Tungurahua. We had a very filling and tasty breakest of fruit, yogurt and granola, and huevos fritos... and rolls. Perfect power food.

Anyway we started from the trailhead and basically walked straight up for about 3 hours till we were at the mirador de Volcán. It unfortunately was covered by clouds but it was still an amazing climb and a satisfying hike. And it wasn't over yet.

We kept going up till we got to the supposed La Casa del Arbol. The tree house is something that we heard about from another traveler when we were at the Rio Muchacho Organic Farm. And when we were given a touristy and not too specific map of the trails around Baños, we saw that it was on the map, so we were pretty sure it existed. We also saw a structure from the mirador off in the distance that looked like it could be the tree house.

Nonetheless, we decided to follow a trail that looked under-used and then climb yet another steep hill. We were not disappointed. It came out to Via Principal and shortly after following that a little ways up we saw a sign, two signs in fact - both of which were for trails that lead to the tree house and an even closer view of the volcano.

The clouds, however, did not disperse any more when we arrived there. But we ate our lunch in the tree house and it was a great little hike. There were hawks, an outhouse, and a swing that made the trip also worth it besides the tree house itself. Normally swings are fun in their own right but this one made me feel like I was jumping off the mountain and over to the other ridge that was the base of the volcano. We have videos and pictures but of course it won't be able to imitate the effect. And after we did all that - swing, use the toilet, and eat our lunch - we got a short glimpse of the top of the volcano further up. Some of the white stuff that could be snow was visible for a tenth of a second, and then another glimpse that was even smaller. It was just a peek but it was all the clouds were willing to give us.

After we had our fill of sitting in the grass and esperando (it means both waiting and hoping) to see more of the active volcano, we began our descent. We decided to go to the Café del Cielo, a place we passed on the way to the mirador. It was a good respite and place to have "tea time" even though I drank cold water and Brian had coffee. We did both have two delicious desserts: a blackberry crepe and a slice of lemon cake. It was too hot for tea though... for me.

Today Brian and I are finally getting massages (thanks Anna) and a facial (just me though because that is too girly for him). We earned it.

Pictures of our farm experience(and possibly some blogging) will be coming as well as other pictures of everything else we have done since then. It is just slow.
And we are going to try to get up early to see that pesky volcano before the clouds roll in. Wish us luck on that (the getting up early part).


  1. Sounds like a beautiful day - very relaxing by the end of it! Good luck and look forward to seeing pictures of your farm trip.

  2. Thanks! We talked about our trip to the Río Muchacho Organic Farm a little bit (super synopsis) in this blog post:

    And the pictures and a couple of videos are up on flickr, here: