Pichincha, an active volcano sits above and around the capital city of Quito, which nestles neatly into this huge beast of a mountain. At 4800 metres above sea level, we managed to reach 4100 metres, when the altitude and climate became somewhat uncomfortable for us novice travellers. Well maybe not novice, but not climbers 🙂
Due to the brevity of our stay in Quito, we had only a couple of days to acclimatise to the altitude and the going further upwards towards the peak took its toll on us. The weather had started out fabulously warm, but changes almost hourly in this region.
The cable car up definitely saves plenty of energy, and the views are certainly magical, not least when we reached the first peak when the weather changed rapidly, for the worse and we were hit with ice from the clouds and the temperature plummeting.
The city below sprawls below Pichincha, in the basin of this extraordinary valley, Quito has wonderful streets to wander aimlessly for hours, with each corner offering views into the local life and of course the obligatory Spanish Independence Plaza at the centre.
These pictures were all taken on the same day, from sunburn to freezing our backsides, definitely a city with extreme weather conditions.