We are really excited to climb the Cotopaxi volcano, second most visited site of Ecuador after Galapagos. It is easy to do from Latacunga and can be done within a day.
After a good local breakfast at the market, we took a bus and a 4x4 to reach the parking, starting point of an hour walk at 4500m to get to the refuge. Unfortunately, the weather was really bad (like always with us…), we could barely see the glacier. It was all foggy and it even snowed!
It is really disappointing, as I was really looking forward to seeing this iconic volcano of Ecuador. I was so disappointed that we decided to come back hoping to be luckier with the weather.
So here we are, 4 days after. This time we didn’t climb it. We stayed in an amazing hacienda located a few kilometres from the volcano, in the country side, recommended by our friend Laura.
We had to take a bus to reach Machachi town, were we could get a 4x4 to the hacienda. Just before our bus stop, Edouard realized that his laptop disappeared from his bag (which was between his legs). We quickly understood that the man behind us managed to steal it… This guy went off the bus a few stops earlier. We were baffled and angry. We asked the driver where the guy stopped. Once we get that name, we tried to find someone to take us there. A woman saw our distress and told us that 2 men went on the bus she just left at that same stop. We understood that the thief is in a bus just ahead of us. Luckily, a police car was just there, we quickly explained the situation and threw our bags in the back of the car to catch up that bus. We started a car chase to stop the bus with the guy, like in movies! 1st bus… he was not in there. 2nd one, Edouard entered it followed by the policemen with their guns out. He recognised him straight away and left the bus with his beloved laptop followed by the thief with handcuffs. What a relief! This is short summary of this incredible story and we would like to emphasize on the kindness of Ecuadorian this day and in general. It could have happened anywhere.
After this, we finally arrived in the beautiful guesthouse, Hacienda de los Mortiños. The place and the location are stunning. The house has big windows, all with a view on Cotopaxi volcano. The staff is super friendly too. There is nothing/no one around, only cows, bulls, llamas and rabbits!
In the afternoon, we saw the volcano without any clouds, I was so happy! The next day, we booked a horseback riding tour to see the volcano from another angle. It was cloudy however the ride was incredible! We crossed rivers and amazing landscapes. We left this paradise knowing that we could have stayed much longer!