We are starting to get used to the Altitude and seem to be getting less headaches. For the first 3 days we had banging headaches and we were finding it hard to breathe. The body can cope with up to 8,000 ft, but we are over 9,000 ft.
Since having 1 of our camera’s stolen, on a local bus on our first day, we have decided to take even more precaution. I am no longer wearing my wedding rings (Paul lost his anyway), I only take out a small amount of money and we only take the camera out if needed. It feels so good going out with no valuables, you feel a lot more free and it is easier to enjoy the day. One suggestion was given to us to buy disposable cameras when in busy areas, I know they are not as good, but its better than having our other camera stolen.
We moved to a new hotel on Sunday, as it is half the price. We are now staying in the Alston Hotel, in between the old and new town. The hotel is more basic than our last hotel, but it is only $29 (£18) a night and it has everything we need.
Monday 25th we decided to check out the Teleférico. This is a cable car ride that takes you up the edge of Pichincha Volcano, which is an active Volcano.The highest peak is 15,696 ft. The cable car ride takes you to the Cruz Loma lookout which is at 13,400 ft.
We decided to walk to the foothill of the Volcano, where you get the Cable Car. On google earth this walk only looked about 20 minutes from our hotel, but when you get closer it’s all up hill to the cable car, so in reality it took us more like 1 hour. It was a good work out, that’s for sure. No one else seemed to be walking it apart from us, and all the taxi’s were beeping us to see if we wanted a ride, maybe that would of been the easier option!
The entrance ticket for the return on the cable car cost $8.50 for foreigners and $3 for locals. We were in a cable car with a mother and daughter from New York. Our ears were popping on the way up. The journey up takes about 20 minutes. By the time we got to the top we had gone from 8,850 ft to 13,400 ft. I was trying to grasp how high up we were. Well the empire state building is 1,250 ft, so we were the height of nearly 11 empire state buildings.
This really is the best place to view the city as a whole, on a clear day you’d be able to see for miles in every direction. It was cloudy when we first got to the top but it started to clear up.
At the top there is a small cafe and a shop but apart from that it’s just you, the other tourists and the scenery that goes on for miles. It is quite impressive looking out from such a height. You can climb a further 2,000 ft to the peaks of the volcano, but our ears weren’t up for it.
We had a cable car all to ourself on the way back down. It was definatley worth waiting till a week day to go, because at the weekends they are meant to get really busy. There were only about 10 other people at the top, which was great.
There are taxis always waiting around at the foothill and also a bus that costs $1 each, so you don’t need to worry about arranging transport. We decided to walk back anyway, as at least it was down hill this time!
That’s all for now,
Paul and Ruth