Galapagos Adventure—Day 2Today was mainly a travel day from Atlanta to Quito, Ecuador. The trip was uneventful and that is always a good thing. It was neat to look out the plane window and see the clouds at night masking the lights from Quito. Because we are in the Andes mountains (9,000–10,000 feet), the clouds seem to touch the ground here. Even in the airport just walking from our plane to customs, I could tell the air was thinner because I was out of breath much quicker. We were glad to make it to our hotel for a night of rest before visiting a volcano near Quito tomorrow.
Galapagos Adventure—Day 3As I write this blog I am sitting on the side of an active volcano! The volcano at Cotopaxi National Park outside of Quito, Ecuador has not erupted since the 1800s, so I feel safe. The view is amazing! This is the second highest volcano (19,000 feet) in South America and we are currently above 14,000 feet. The air is definitely thin and I am feeling “out of breath” a lot even when not exerting myself. A few brave souls from our team are attempting to hike an additional 1,000 feet to where the snow begins. The view of the volcano is constantly changing with clouds coming and going constantly.
To get here we traveled by bus along the “Avenue of Volcanoes.” The major highway through Ecuador allows you to see several of the 42 volcanoes that are present in Ecuador. I have been able to get some amazing pictures of the landscape. It was challenging to pick just a few to show you! We were told by our tour guide that the Cotopaxi area has existed for 10 million years. As creationists who begin with God’s Word, we know the truth about the age of the volcanoes—they are likely less than 4,500 years old and formed in the violent aftermath of Noah’s flood.
The plants in Cotopaxi Park are unique because it is very windy and cold year-round. They grow very close to the ground and I was amazed at the number of flowers. Shades of red, yellow, and purple stood out against the stark landscape. At lower altitudes in the park we saw two invasive forms of pine trees that were introduced in the early 1900s and are destroying the landscape. A strange form of orange lichen grows on them at higher altitudes, which actually kills the tree.
It is currently winter in Ecuador but you would never know it by what we call winter in Indiana (where I live). The average temperature here during the day is in the 50s!
Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be a travel day to the Galapagos where we will board our cruise ship. Not sure what the internet access will be like but keep checking daily. Thank you for your prayers concerning my trip and my family. We have been able to keep in contact and everyone is well.