Cayambe, Ecuador – Snow on equator

Another delightful piece of side road goes from Ibarra via La Esperanza, Zuleta and Olmedo to Cayambe. Until Olmedo we chug over old pavement stones and gravel, the last 18 km / 11 mi are paved. The route takes us through scenic páramo highland. Buses go here, so the road isn’t exacting to the vehicle except for suspension and damping. We get close to the beautiful 5,790 m / 19,000 ft high snow-covered Cayambe. The dormant volcano whose southern slope is crossed by the equator is worldwide the highest elevation along the equator line.

The weather is kind to us today and the glacier peak is aglow in front of steel-blue sky. We stay in Cayambe town and ask in the horse farm Shungu Huasi if they would allow us to camp. The hotel operation seems to sleep and there are not many horses. Doesn’t matter, the young woman welcomes us and we agree on 5 $. We prefer to park in front of the residential building instead at the stables where there are bathrooms but many flies as well. A quiet kilometre off the main road we still have a precious view to Cayambe Mountain. Shungu Huasi horse farm: N 00°03’02.2’’ W 78°09’17.5’’.

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