In a little over a week I take off for Ecuador for 3 weeks of immersion.  Spanish immersion that is.  Although my original goal was merely to improve my Spanish to aid in communication during field work in the Galapagos, I’m realizing it will be much more than that.  As I travel through the remote areas of the Ecuadorian highlands, living with a host family, and climbing peaks of the Andes, immersion will take on many other meanings I’m sure.  Immersion in the culture, and immersion in my mind and body…

As a inherently social person, this will be my first long trekking adventure on my own.  In another country. With another language.  And to new heights (culminating in hopefully an ascent to the peak of Cotopaxi at ~19,400 feet).  I’m excited to take on this adventure, knowing it will likely be a transformative experience in many ways.  I’ll try to share my adventure here along the way…
My trip in a nutshell:

Nov 16th: Fly to Quito (A)
Nov 18th: Meet my Spanish instructor, with whom I will explore the highlands between Quito, Banos (B) and Riobamba (C), learning Spanish along the way
Nov 22nd: Take a bus from Riobamba to Cuenca (D)
Nov 23-30th: Lessons, homestay and exploration of Cuenca (including hopefully many hikes with El Cajas National Park)
Dec 1st: Fly back to Quito
Dec 2nd:  Hike Ruminahui peak (15,489 ft) (E)
Dec 3rd:  travel to Cotopaxi national Park and hike to base camp at 15748 feet.  Glacier practice and rest.
Dec 4th: wake up at midnight and (hopefully) summit Cotopaxi (F)
Dec 5th: visit Casa Cultural Trude Sojka
Dec 6th: Fly back to the US

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