It was a beautiful sunny morning and Alex, Anna, Rachel, and Graham decided to take the teleferico (gondola) up the eastern side of the Pichincha Volcano to the lookout, Cruz Loma. The gondola ride takes 20 minutes and starts at about 3100 meters above sea level, ending at 4000 meters. This was high on the girls “to do” list for Quito and the experience did not disappoint.
We had a cable car to ourselves on the ride up the mountain. It was interesting to see the terrain change from large trees to smaller trees, ending eventually in grassy meadows. The view from the top was incredible and demonstrated just how large and sprawling Quito is – 2.6 million inhabitants and approximately 50 km long.
Graham felt a little lightheaded at the top and Rachel noticed she got short of breath quite easily. The temperature was also several degrees cooler (you could see your breath) and there was a light steady breeze. From here there are walking trails that take you another 500 vertical meters to the peak.