Quito- Week 2-New friends, Ruta Coturco, and Vuelta al Cotopaxi (practice run)

Our 2nd week in Quito continued to be marvelous, as was our first week. We finally got completely settled into our apartment, I got my home office set up, and settled into a training and working routine. Most days of the week, we would wake up around 5am, go ride the awesome technical trails at Parque Metro or do a 3000ft road climb up from Nayon, then start working by 8am or so. I also started attending Andrea’s lab meetings, went to a security briefing at the US Embassy, and starting laying the groundwork for my fieldwork and modeling efforts in the Napo. Andrea and I came up with a pretty good plan that includes a good mix of fieldwork and computer time. In the upcoming months I hope to develop a hydrological classification for the Napo then begin fish sampling within the different classifications. The sampling should take me to some pretty remote locations on streams that have definitely never been sampled for fish. It should be pretty exciting. Andrea also asked me to give a 45 minute presentation of my dissertation research IN SPANISH. I definitely spent a lot of my 2nd week working on that. We also had a great weekend. On saturday, Pericles, Gaby, Daniel, Martin, and Mario took us on an 80km loop up Coturco, which included the most brutal ascent (5000+ft in 5km) I’ve ever done, by far! Some parts were so steep that they even hurt to walk. Couple that with an altitude of 12,000ft, and it was a recipe for serious suffering. The ascent of the peak takes you up so quickly that I felt the pangs of altitude sickness at the summit. Luckily the descent was just as steep, so we were back down to the 7000′ valley in no time. After the 80km ride, we packed up and went to Parque Nacional Cotopaxi to stay at our friend Marie’s vacation home in the mountains. On Sunday, we woke up to awesome views of Cotopaxi and other 15,000ft peaks, llamas, horses, and pasture land. I love the paramo landscape! We rode part of the Vuelta al Cotopaxi course which, though high, felt downright easy because it was graded reasonably, unlike Coturco! Overall, another great week! Hope it continues like this…


talk.flyer 13,000ftcoto cotopaxi marieshouse


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