Tiffany, Anu and Melissa.
It has passed almost 15 minutes and I continued seated there, keeping an eye on my backpack while listening to my iPod, a Pearl Jam's song (black) which takes me back in time to someplace in Europe.
Suddenly 3 girls carrying their small daypacks cross the street and approach to me. One of them, a smiley Chinese girl comes to me and asks me if I'm the guide who will be taking them up to Cotopaxi. I notice right away they are americans. I answer them back.. "I don't know, but that I'd like to".
They are Melissa, Anu and Tiffany, 3 friendly Medical Students. They've been volunteering for the last couple of weeks at local hospitals in Quito. They are looking forward to do some outdoor stuff during their remaining 2 weeks in Ecuador.
Heading to CotopaxiSo, 3 hours later we all are entering to Cotopaxi National Park, and later on hiking up to the refuge, ice practicing at the glacier and getting ready for the summit push at midnight.
We had a great time in Cotopaxi even though we didn't make it to the top. But it was nice being up there in the refuge, chatting, laughing and making plans for the days to come while they were in Ecuador. It was Tiffany's birthday as well. We wished we could celebrate at the top.
Jungle and MountainA week later, Melissa, Anu and Tiffany visited the Ecuadorian jungle while I guided a couple of german girls throughout the Andes of Ecuador. We met 7 days later, after each other’s trips.
Tiffany and I planned to visit Otavalo and Cuicocha crater lake. We hung out for a while at the lake's pier and then we hitch hiked back to Otavalo where we took a bus back to Quito soon after.
We started hiking up by the ridge which increased in altitude gradually as we approached to Rucu's base after an hour of hiking.
We met Alexander (Norway), Michael (New Zealand), and a couple of Ecuadorians on our way up. They all followed us up to the summit. Tiffany and I stopped every now and then to make sure everybody was doing ok. It was a foggy afternoon and we didn't want anybody getting lost in the highlands. Soon, after one and a half hours of hiking, Tiffany and I reached Rucu Pichincha's summit (4,698 m/15,413 ft) followed by Anu, Alexander and Michael.
We all got to the top, took a few pictures and got back down to Quito, trying to avoid the late afternoon thunderstorms that are very common in the highlands during the summer season.