Ecuador – Day 10 – Guagua Pichincha Hike and Quito’s Marascal District

A Fruit Stand
A Market on Outskirts of Quito

Pichincha Hut and Basalt Crag
The Guagua Pichincha Hut (14,900 ft) and nice looking Basalt Crag (climbable?)

Quito Beer
Enjoying a beer in the Marascal District

On our last day in Ecuador, we drove back to Quito, from the lodge, Cuello De Luna. As we neared Quito, we drove through a large farmers market. Then, we headed to the town of Lloa, to do a cool down hike near Guagua Pichincha. After the hike, we drove to the Marascal district in Quito, where Rafael’s shop is, to walk around and have dinner. A ride to the airport was arranged for after dinner, so we had the evening to be tourists.

Fresh Fruit
Fresh Fruit in Quito Market

Fresh Meat
Every Part of a Pig

From the Farmer’s Market, it took about 2 hours to get to the trail head for our hike up to a subpeak of Guagua Pichincha. First we drove to Lloa and then we took a gravel/dirt road uphill. At one point, Rafael jumped out of the truck and checked us in with a ranger. I’m not sure if there was a fee, or if it was just a check in spot.

Above the Trailhead
We drove up to around 13,600 ft and parked the truck (you can see the trail head in the picture, above). Rafael hung out in the truck and then Tilden and I hiked up the road to the hut at 14,900 ft.

Mountain Lupines
On the hike up to the hut, we saw lots of pretty wildflowers. In Ecuador, the flowers are really amazing. These mountain lupines reminded me of Colorado.

Pretty Purple Flowers
Pretty Purple flowered ground cover. Not sure, but this reminded me of an ice plant.

Pichincha Chuquiragua
A really beautiful example of Chuquiragua

More Frailejón
Frailejon, a pretty silvery plant

Evidence of Past Eruptions
During our walk up to the hut, we could see evidence of past eruptions in the road etchings.

A Look back at the Trailhead
After 15 minutes of hiking, I turned around and looked back at the trail head. Now that we are finally both fully acclimatized, we are heading home…I’m sure I’ll be back!

Pichinchas Still Encased in Clouds
Looking towards Rucu Pichincha…I kept hoping the clouds would lift so we could see the summit from a few days ago!

Tilden Heading for the Pichincha Hut
Tilden at 14,500 ft. We both laughed at how we were walking above all the 14ers in the states, but it felt so easy!

Pretty View of Quito from Pichincha Road
Pretty view towards Quito!

Clare and the Pichincha Hut
Almost to the hut!

The Pichincha Hut and View
Above the hut, looking back.

Tilden Heading for Subpeak of Guagua Pichincha
Heading to the subpeak of Guagua Pichincha. We didn’t have the time or the inclination to finish Guagua…there were cold clouds and gusts of wind.

Pichincha Virgin Sign and Tilden in a Fog
Welcome Sign!

Pichincha Virgin
The Virgin of the Volcano

Tilden on Pichincha Sub Peak
Tilden on the Guagua Pichincha Sub Peak

Descending Pichincha Crater Rim
Time to run down! The wind got really intense and it was hard to see!

Rafael and His Truck
Rafael drove up to the hut, with the truck, and then we left.

Back in Quito, we left our bags at Rafael’s shop and then were free to walk around the Marascal district. It was around 3pm, so we decided we’d head to the big arts fair in the park and buy some souvenirs.

On the way to the park, we saw this cool looking establishment…I took this picture for my friend Barry, who loves Beer. I half expected to see him walking out with a cold one, in hand.

Restaurant in Marascal
We went to dinner in the Foch Plaza. I got a sophomoric kick out of the name.

Foch Plaza
Foch Yeah!

Nightlife in Marascal is Hopping
I got a bit sunburned on Cotopaxi, but not nearly as bad as the burn from Rainier a few years ago!

The driver came to pick us up around 9pm and drove us to the Quito Airport. My flight was at 12:55am and Tilden’s was half an hour earlier. While we were waiting for our flights, Tilden broke out the finger puppets he bought for his nephew, and it made me laugh.

More Finger Puppets

Tilden and Fingerpuppets
Tilden Goofing Off

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