Small eruptions have already shot ash more than 5km (three miles) into the sky, spreading fine grey powder over as far as the capital 50km (30 miles) to the north.I tweeted about it. And watched out for updates. Thankfully, at least thus far, the volcano has stayed quiet.
Authorities have restricted access to the park that surrounds the volcano and barred mountaineers from climbing the snow-capped peak.
Ecuador has volcanoes all over the country. In Quito, I noticed that there were a number of boards that briefed visitors and locals alike about the many volcanoes that were not that far away from the city. Like this one, from which one can be stunned by the number of volcanoes that can be seen on a clear day:
The mountain man that I am, I did go to Cotopaxi.
The peak in the background is Cotopaxi. A few minutes after I clicked that photo, the dense clouds on the right moved further and completely blocked out the peak.
I was equally excited about visiting “Taita” (daddy) Imbabura--the photo below--and “Mama” Cotacachi.
Imbabura has snow on its peaks only every once in a while--unlike Cotopaxi, there are no permanent glaciers on top of Imbabura. The local legends reflected my kind of humor. When it rained in Otavalo--I went there and wrote up a bit as well--it is apparently referred to as Imbabura peeing on the valley. And when there is snow up on Imbabura, the legend is that daddy and mama spent a night together; need I explain to you what the white snow represents in such a congress! ;)
Here's to hoping that Cotopaxi will stay quiet, and follow Imbabura's lead and be inactive.