Sunday, January 29, 2012
Pululahua Volcano Earthcache, - Quito, Ecuador
This is a story has a good side and a bad side. The good side is the adventure, the view and the fun of the hike. The bad side is that my attempt to place an earthcache in this location met with so much red tape that I simple gave up on it. Maybe someone else will locate an earthcache or a traditional cache here in the future. One of the spectacular views around Quito is that of the Pululahua Volcano. This is an extinct volcano located about 6 miles north of Quito. It is just on the north side of the equator and very near the equator monument and tourism area known as Mitad del Mundo. Pululahua is now the home of farmers for centuries. Some sources say this is the only inhabited volcano crater in the world. Most of the crater walls have worn down but the lava dome is still intact and observable. If you are going to visit Pululahua and hope to see the crater be sure to go in the morning. The moist Pacific coastal breezes blow in around noon and with them come clouds. As you stand on the rim of the volcano you can see the clouds blowing right up in your face. It will block your view of the crater. It rarely rains in the caldera. The crops that grow there are dependent on the fog that rolls in everyday about noon. Once the fog rolls in from the west it will block your view of the valley below. By the way, the name for fog in Quichua is “fuyu” or a slightly modified “puyu” or” puyo”. The remainder of the name seems to come from Spanish “agua” = “water”. It is likely that the name means “cloud of water”, which is a perfect description of the place soon after noon almost every day. There are a variety of plants that grow in the walls of the crater and in the cloud forest of the lava dome. For this reason the Ecuadorian government has declared this a geo-botanical reserve since 1966. At present there is no cost to park and visit at the overlook. There are Quichua people selling souvenirs there too. Since I failed to make a go of it I challenge the reader to place an earthcache here!