Pichincha is a large mountain/volcano to the west of Quito. There are two peaks, Guagua Pichincha and Rucu Pichincha. Guagua means baby or child in Quechua, an indigenous language in Ecuador. Guagua Pichincha is the volcano part of the mountain. It is an active volcano, but its name is a reference to the fact that it really only lets out small puffs of ash. However, in '99 there was a big eruption that let out a huge amount of ash.
Pichincha has a cable car that leads to a hiking route. Hiking to the highest point, Rucu Pichincha is very popular, yet quite dangerous for amateur hikers.
Pichincha IS the western horizon of Quito (as the city is situated in a valley). Because of this, it serves as a landmark/compass, as its visible from anywhere in the city. As someone who can be very directionally-challenged, Pichincha has saved my butt several times.
I had a hard time depicting how buildings and the city itself "climbs" the Mountain a bit. I settled on youst painting grey where there are city buildings - you can see that at the bottom-right of the mountain.
Pichincha is often cloaked in clouds and fog, as we are at a very high altitude.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>I'm Oonagh (ooh-nah), a junior at Grinnell College, and a Political Science major who fancies herself an occasional artist and a lifelong doodler. I'm very excited and mildly terrified to start my stay in Quito, but I'm very much looking forward to immersing myself in the language and culture.</p>