Go back to South America.Although our initial perception of Ecuador was that it did not have the critical mass of stuff we enjoy (longish, moderate rock lines), a bit of bumbling around the interwebs quickly changed that notion. We started out by purchasing Felipe Proano’s very nicely done, two-volume climbing guidebook (check Amazon) to the country. We then found some clips online of climbers enjoying mid-sized routes on the pretty faces of Cojitambo in the south of the country. More searching around brought us to the publisher of the guidebook to the area (Andes Vertical on Facebook) who was kind enough to sell and ship us a copy. With this quiver of beta, we decided that we had enough for a weeklong climbing outing. But of course Ecuador also means Galapagos, one of those non-climbing things that has been on our lists since childhoods; and so the trip idea morphed into a two week stint with the latter half being dedicated to animal encounters.
.We pinged Felipe with the usual request of arranging all the logistics for us short of dragging the rope up. He was game and the trip was on. Spending a week traveling the country with him, a North Face sponsored climber with some impressive feats in his resume (not to mention, some great stories) would turn out to be one of the highlights of our Ecuador time. The climbing in Cojitambo was a lot of fun but we found shitty weather at the other planned venues later in the week.
.For Galapagos, we booked a 4-day cruise on a small catamaran (about 15 passengers in total). This was a pretty mind-blowing experience, despite the surface appearance of a “tourist-trap package”. Also, this was our first time on a multi-day “cruise” and a second wildlife safari I think.
.We unfortunately had to spend 2 full days in Quito at the end to get our fucking PCR test done for the trip home – vaccine cards good enough for Ecuador but not for going home. Nothing wrong with the city but, like all cities we have visited, it starts to bore us after about 4 hours of sightseeing.
Go to Cojitambo.
Go back to South America.