Sunday, November 7, 2010
I like a little history with my geocaches. This one provides it. We recently took a trip from Quito, Ecuador south to Cuenca. The drive along the Panamerican Highway has really improved over the last 13 years. I remember when it was some of the roughest roads in the country. Today it is well paved for the most part. Along the way we planned to visit the Terremoto 1797 Reloaded (GC26M6K) cache. As we began our bypass of the city of Riobamba we turned on the GPSr. Upon arrival at the city of Cajabamba we left the main highway. The needle clearly indicated that the cache was on top of Cerro Cushca, a hill overlooking that city. We weaved our way through the city and followed what proved to be the most logical path for our 4WD. This took us through another small town and eventually to the top of the mountain. Thanks to a dirt road cut out by the local telecommunications company we were able to reach the top. The hill is the site of some pretty significant antennas. From the top we had a wonderful view of the whole valley all the way out to Colta Lake. From where we parked it was only 140 feet to the cache. We walked down hill and found the cache easily. Once we finished signing the log and getting a few photos, we returned to the top of the mountain to have a picnic lunch and enjoy the view. The cache page tells the story of how in 1797 an earthquake destroyed the original city of Riobamba, located below where today stands the city of Cajabamba. You can still see some of the landslide that destroyed the old city. Afterwards the survivors moved this city, one of Ecuador's first colonial cities, to its present location further northeast. We thought the stop signs in both Spanish and Quichua were interesting. Lake Colta is also an interesting place in the history of evangelical missions in Ecuador. Over one hundred years ago two brave single female missionaries, Julia Anderson and Ella Ozman, left the safety of the coastal city of Guayaquil to become the first evangelical missionaries among the Quichua of Chimborazo. Ella died of pneumonia within days of their arrival and Julia continued on for nearly five decades. She lived and worked in the area around Lake Colta. Today there is a large evangelical movement among the Quichua of this area. Check out the following article from Christianity Today in order to learn more. Visit this cache to get the full outdoor adventure!