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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tungurahua Volcano and the Runtun Cross

What a great trip! We went to Baños, Ecuador for some fun time. While there we arranged to take a chiva tour (a sort of open-air bus ride with loud music) around the town and then up to the Runtun Overlook. From there the view was spectacular, both of the city and of the Tungurahua volcano. Several times during the day we caught a glimps of Tungurahua as the clouds would break. From the overlook the view is also impressive. I´ve included a few pictures of the volcano from several angles made by others. Their photos are so much better than mine. The tour guide told me that we would be at the cross overlooking the city for about 20 minutes. That didn´t give me much time. It was about 10 p.m. so I left him and the other tourist and headed out with my gpsr and flashlight. I was about 400 feet from the cache when I started out. I started down the trail, one that apparently will take you down to the city below. Soon my gpsr was telling me I was at ground zero. Within a few minutes I had found the large tupperware container that is Cruz de Runtun TB Hotel (GC28NNE). I hurriedly signed the logbook and replaced the cache. I didn´t trade anything as I felt the pressure to be back with the group. I could just see my wife making excuses for the guide to wait for me. I hurried up the hill arriving huffing and puffing. Why the hurry? The tour stayed at least another 45 minutes after I got there. The guide served us hot canela (cinnamon and passion fruit) drink and then we had a bonfire with about 80 people from our tour and others that were congregated there. We had a great time. Whether by day or night, I recommend this tour for the breathtaking view of both Tungurahua volcano and the city of Baños. The flowing lava coming off of Tungurahua is spectacular! By the way, the sign about the 9 p.m. erruption was pretty accurate.
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