Greetings family, friends, and Internet voyeurs,
This is Mike calling in an update for Team Guanabana y Ponchos and if you saw the pictures from San Agustín, we have also adopted Sombreros into our team name as well.
We have had quite an adventure since our last call: starting with San Agustín where we enjoyed a tour of some historic Inca structures, walked the lovely grounds, played with a herd of llamas, and helped ourselves to the private collection of hats and ponchos. Oh, and David wanted to move in.
Next we traveled to Salcedo, known as “ice cream town” and strangely, the only town where we saw no friendly dogs around, we sampled various flavors including our namesake.
Our next destination was Chimborazo Base Camp where we stayed at Estrella de Chimborazo where we met the owner and gracious host, the famous Don Marco Cruz. The accommodations were outstanding, a heaven for climbers. We met a diverse group of fellow adventurers including from Germany, France , and the U.S. I retained my title at 99 champion and David spotted the first Vicuña. Oh, and David wanted to move in.
From Estrella de Chimborazo we made our way to Advanced Base Camp for a final meal and an attempt at rest before beginning our final climb of the trip. I am pleased to announce that we were able to get climbers to the summit with our outstanding team of expert guides: Jose Luis, Fredy, Henry and Robin. We had a beautiful clear day and the view from the summit allowed us to look down upon Cotopaxi, Antizana, and the other jealous Ecuadorian peaks, as Chimborazo is the highest peak in Ecuador and also the furthest point from the center of the earth. As Icarus can attest, puffy coats are quite warm when one is so close to the sun.
After the climb we took a last look at Chimborazo and drove to our current location Abraspungo, where the beds are paradise, gardens and fountains greet us, and a friendly flock of chickens wander the grounds. We spent the evening out in Riobamba enjoying pizza, a parade, and a little partying. We finished the evening at a local club where David and Jim were almost carded for being too old.
After breakfast, and talking David out of wanting to move in, we will depart for Quito with stops in Ice Cream Town and Ambato where we will sample the local cuisine, Guinea Pig.
Tonight we have a farewell dinner with our guides before returning home tomorrow.
We have all had a great adventure and are looking forward to seeing you all soon.
Adios from Team Guanabana y Ponchos y Sombreros.