Baños, Ecuador – Ashes, smoke and clouds

We give volcano Tungurahua another two days to show activity. The weather is perfect, although clouds usually set in for sunset. But between two and five in the morning it mostly clears up, a resident betrays. True. It stays without overcast during the day, but the volcano shows only moderate activity. Poisonous yellow puffy clods escape at times, otherwise it produces large amounts of white steam that unite with passing clouds and cover the crater like a white toupee with decreasing temperatures during the evening hours. During Baños’ inhabitants still sweep the ashes from the streets that Tungurahua blew on their roofs and into the trees during the last two weeks, the volcano implements a cease-fire and confines itself to smoke.

Again we stand on the hill Las Antenas, this time at the restaurant Ojos del Volcan on the grass verge in the curve. The owner invited us some days ago during our last visit to camp here. We eat a well stomach filling portion of baked trout with rice, potatoes and fried plantains for a fair price. The food is vegetable-free besides a slice of tomato with marinated onions, like Ecuadorians love it. Instead Rogelio and his wife get us a hot Canelazo, a kind of Ecuadorian grog made from fruit juice or like here from sugar cane juice with schnapps. Very warming.

During the day they hand us homemade blackberry juice or fruits from their trees through our cabin window. The restaurant with unhindered volcano view opens on request only, therefore advance notice is practical (Rogelio Bastidas cell 092977530, Elisabeth 095776781, both Spanish, S 01°22’57.4’’ W 78°26’03.1’’). Trucks are officially not permitted on the feeder road, but as an important evacuation way it is in good shape and suitable for vehicles up to 4 m / 13 ft. The winding road is narrow and steep with little traffic, the pitch big enough for several rigs.

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