Hello everyone,

Today we woke up bright and early (6:45 AM) before we left for a quick breakfast at La Estancia. We then rushed to meet up with the bus and enjoyed the hour and twenty minute bus ride to the Mt. Chimborazo nature preserve. One reason we woke up so early was that clouds tend to roll in and block the view of the mountain in the afternoon. We stopped at many locations along the way to get acclimatized to the altitude as well as to enjoy the view. Along the way, we saw the many different ecosystems from grassy farmland to deserts which allowed us to view many different types of flora and fauna. One favorite of the group were the vicuñas which are like wild llamas with long and skinny necks. We also learned that Mt. Chimborazo is the closest point on Earth to the sun (Don’t worry, we put on lots of sunscreen)! Despite the breaks, some of us, including me, were having trouble adjusting to the altitude. Even though some of our bodies were not one hundred percent, we still made it to the “First Refuge” monument to take a group photo at 10:15 sharp. Thankfully, our leaders were with us every step of the way to make sure no one was feeling too sick and was able to safely continue. Afterwards, we stopped by a warm hut and snacked on empanadas, donuts, hot chocolate and coca tea.

After a nice rest at the hut, we took the bus down to begin our hike. We started in the windy, arid deserts at the base of Mt. Chimborazo and hiked down into the grassy farmlands of the areas below. We were able to experience close encounters with vicuñas and were treated to a close visit by a herd of alpacas. After some bus scheduling troubles, we were picked up and it was obvious our group was extremely tired, to the point where we were all able to fall asleep in the mildly uncomfortable bus seats for the ride home.


Upon arrival, we ate a delicious meal at La Estancia which included potatoes, soup, our choice of meat and delicious strawberry juice. The hiking of the day wiped most of us out and when we arrived at our hotel, many of us took a long nap. The budgeting crew, however, ventured out to the hardware store in order to find material costs for the CAP project. Before dinner, we filled out a survey which marked the halfway point of our trip.

Although our dinner was cut short as we were given additional time to rest from our long day, it was delicious. We ate lasagna, rice and had a tres leches cake for desert which was a favorite among many of us. We then had our usual nightly meeting where we discussed the positive and negative effects ecotourism has on the environment. To my surprise, the budgeting crew bought an inflatable penguin as a gift for me as they knew that my favorite animal was a penguin. The torch is now handed to Joshua – he will lead us in our first free day of the trip.

Thank you for reading!

(P.S. Please write your comments down below as we look forward to reading them every night. We hope to see you following along on our journeys!)