I woke up early to go to the Cotopaxi Volcano. This made me feel a little bit anxious. I had been in an altitude of 2800m above see level for only two days and in two hours I would go up to a height of 4800m. I’ve never had been to an altitude like that before.

I went with a driver and two English guys, a tour arranged by a hotel. To get there was easy, as we left early we did not catch too much traffic. At 3800m of altitude there was a museum that shows to the visitors a little of the volcano history. At 4500m we stop in a sort of parking lot. There we got off the car and had to walk to the refuge (at 4800m). It was very cold, the wind was strong and snow falling. The way up was steep and slippery (it reminded me the volcanoes in Indonesia). After the first the 20 steps I was already tired, I had to stop. My heart was beating very strongly, for the first time I felt the effects of the thin air.

The way up was hard to me. I would go up a little and stop to rest. It continued snowing and wind blowing strong. Every time I stopped I would feel soft it seemed that the wind could take me to the bottom. I slid at least two times. After a lot of effort I got to the refuge. I realized that I was not born to mounting climbing. The English guys that were with me, they also had suffered to get there.

In the refuge, we had a hot tea and as the snow had increased, we decided not to go to the glaciers. After all we would not be able to see anything due to the bad weather. Up there, the guides told us that we had done the worse way up. It was the shortest but the hardest and steepest. They told us we should have climbed up by the side of the peak, in a zigzag way. It was easier, there was more time to get used to the height and it was not so slippery. The way down was a lot easier, however the snow made it a little hard. It was necessary to keep balance in order to not slide and this forced a lot my knees. Each step down reminded me my broken meniscus…

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