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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Caching with Volcanoes





This was one of those rare crystal clear days with hardly a hint of clouds in the sky. I had planned to go find and hide a cache so I was pleased at the great vistas of all three volcanoes that you can see from certain vantage points in Quito. I parked my car and tracked to the intended FTF cache find but after 30 minutes of searching I decided that this level-one difficulty hide had been muggled or was much harder than indicated. I plugged in an alternate cache and set out on the .5 mile hike. The trails were beautiful. Just as I crested one ridge I caught a view of Cayambe Volcano. I was glad I had my camera. What a view. A little further down the trail I came to an overlook viewing east into the valley and there in all its majesty was the Antisana Volcano. A little further down the trail as I descended gradually towards the cache I caught a view of the Cotopaxi Volcano. Antisana, unlike the cone shapes of Cayambe and Cotopaxi, is a crater volcano where the top blew off many many years ago. Whereas Cayambe and Cotopaxi are visible once every week or so, Antisana rarely comes out of the clouds. What a view. Soon my GPSr was telling me I was at the location. Just as the cache description said, I had to watch over my left shoulder for muggles that could be taking pictures on a wooden balcony built out over the cliff some 300 feet above me. No one was there when I started the search. I had to climb back into the bushes near the edge of the incline that became the cliff. Suddenly I heard voices from above. Someone was at the overlook. Down in the bushes like I was I knew they couldn't see me so I continued the search. Suddenly something red came into view as I probed the grass. There it was. Vaca Frita (GC24HP6) is part of a series lauding Cuban cuisine. Within the was a recipe for this tangy Cuban dish. I signed the log and crept out of the bushes so as not to attract attention from muggles above. The hike took about 20 minutes on a beautiful trail. I was in search of a place to put in a new cache. Soon I found the right spot, marked the coordinates and dropped a geocoin that I'd brought back from the US. Time to get home. What a beautiful morning in Quito!
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