Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Many Faces of Imbabura

Here is mother Mt. Cotacachi looking down on her village of Cotacachi. 
The father of the village of Cotacachi" is Mt. Imbabura and is seen here at the entrance to Cotacachi.

Ecuador has many beautiful mountains.  On a clear day in Quito you can sometimes see four snow capped volcanoes.  That may not be impressive unless you know that Quito is right on the equator where snow is not a word used in every day language.  In general, snow doesn't stay on a mountain in Ecuador unless it is 5000 meters or higher.

The most impressively high mountain in Ecuador is Mt. Chimborazo (20,565 ft).  I always have that one in my back pocket for bragging rights when my Alaskan sister brings up Denali (Mt. McKinley, tallest mountain in NORTH America).  In fact, Chimborazo is the highest point on earth.  No, it's not the highest point above sea level, it's just that the earth bulges a bit at the equator.  More correctly stated, it is the farthest point from the center of the earth.  Let's not split hairs though.  We're just talking about beautiful mountains.

 Looking out our bedroom window this morning looking towards the north I could see the mountains with summer-like clarity.   Summer- like you say?  Well, here in the Imbabura Province you get lots of definitions for the seasons.   It gets confusing actually.  This is the Land of Eternal Spring!  Bank on it.  It really is spring all year!  But for the locals, they like to call June through September summer and October through May winter.  It has to do with rainy and dry seasons.  Summer is dry, winter not so much.  Don’t bank on that however.   I’ve also figured out that when it’s raining, the locals call it the rainy season. 

I think the suicide rate among Ecuadorian meteorologists must be high.  Wait a minute; I don’t think there are any Ecuadorian meteorologists.   Why would you need a weather man to tell you the high is 68 and the low is 53 and know that you’ll seldom if ever be more than two degrees off?  Boring.    Seriously though, this is arguably the best climate in the world unless blood just doesn’t move around in your veins any more.  In that case, just move down the mountain a couple thousand feet and you’ll be in Eternal Summer.

Ok, the topic is mountains in Ecuador, I digress. 

My favorite mountain is Imbabura.   Ah, Cayambe, Chimborazo, Antisana, Cotopaxi and Sangay, you are indeed splendid.  You are all graced with year around snow.  Father Imbabura, you are special.  On clear days you frame the fields where my bicycle carries me.

And you're there to guide me home.  

But I'll never confuse you with my real Father.