Ruta de los Quindes-Route of the Hummingbirds

Kristi Ch
September 24, 2013

I have the best host family. I don’t think it was coincidence that I got placed with the family that I have. While the party scene in Quito is plenty for anyone looking for exciting nightlife, I’m not huge into the farras, or fiestas. I’m kind of like an old woman that way. Thankfully, my host dad Francisco, is the hippest, funniest, and most adventurous host dad I could have asked for. He is 60 years old, but more active than most of my peers at home. We’ve gone city biking, beekeeping (post to come on that one…stay tuned people.), hiking, and camping in places that no one else really knows about. This one particular Saturday, we left early to hike Pichincha, but not the Paramo (high sierra) peak that everyone usually hikes (called Pichincha Rucu, accessed by cable car and couple hour hike). We went around the other side of the same volcano, and though it was just a 30-40 minute drive difference, and the same mountain, the environment was completely different. In this particular part of Pichincha, Reserva Yanacocha, we were at a lower altitude, edging on the famous cloud forest. We hiked through lush green vegetation, clouds of mosquitos, over great valleys that looked down on the clouds, and even passed a clearing where at least 30 hummingbirds flitted about. (hence the name of the hike)

The “brows” of Guaga (meaning “child” in Quichua) Pichincha, an active volcano crater. This weekend, I’m going to hike from Guaga to Mindo, the cloud forest below, a two day hike that involves crossing rivers and changing climate at least 3 times.

Host pop Francisco leading the way

A flower in my ear that grows along this route–earrings of the indios, Francisco called them, and put it in my ear for me


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Kristi Ch

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I&#39;m studying studio art, entrepreneurship/social enterprise and international studies at Wake Forest University (Go Deacs!). Born and grew up in Canada by Malaysian born parents, I&#39;ve always had an awareness of other cultures, countries, and customs. I&#39;ve always wanted to travel South America and after spending the summer interning in Lima and volunteering in Kenya, I am excited to stay in one country for a while and live out some new adventures. I enjoy everything about the outdoors--camping, rock climbing, hiking, biking, running, hammocking, and have recently taken up surfing while in Lima. I also love all things art-design, painting, photography, and film, and hope to be able to share my experiences in Quito through my words and images.</span></p>

2013 Fall
Home University:
Wake Forest University
Fine Arts
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