Cotopaxi Volcano with an early morning start

So we decided to go camping on a whim, without much planning and as the weather isnt’t the best at the moment we went open minded to see if we would get any decent photos or not. So we loaded up the car and set off, the weather was dry and cloudy. The National Park Cotopaxi entrance is close by to us, but we were headed further into the park to the Santo Domingo Lagoon, where we have never previously visited.

So far the weather was stunning. Wild horses by the dozens, blue sky and some well placed clouds. 

The openness (is that even a word?) and isolation of this place is special and unique, you do not want your car breaking down out here.

While we were setting up camp and eating our meal the weather closed in and there was nothing of the volcano to be seen. 

Yep. the photo above, that is where the volcano was 5 minutes before, actually the volcano is still there, it is just hidden behind the clouds. So after we finished eating, we got into our sleeping bags and tried to get some sleep.

Hubby needed the bathroom, I have no idea what time it was but he got me out my sleeping bag to see the most amazing sight. I have no previous experience with long exposure night time photos, so we just took loads and hoped something would turn out. Oh, and the weird lights in the middle  left of the frame, just hubby messing around with the torch.

So, next morning after something of a cold night as there was no cloud cover, I put my head of the tent at 5.50 AM and said, bugger, we are going to have to get up. And this is what we got up to.

This is probably not the best photo, but I think it is great cause hubby took it of me while I was taking another photo. You can see here all the ice on the ground. 

It´s all about the horses

The Machachi fiestas usually go on most of the month of July. But the largest event is by far the Paseo del Chagra. Today there were around 2000 horses. An impresive sight, I have never seen so many horses all in one place.

It originated  from the 1877 eruptions of Cotopaxi volcano. In a miraculous way, the great Pasochoa and  Rumiñahui and saved the people of Tambillo and Machachi. They waited patiently for the summit of Cotopaxi cover over again with new snow, and when this happened, they chose to have a minga (when the people get together to help each other) to gather all  cattle, horses and other animals that were scattered with event. Now every year the owners of the haciendas and their families get together and celebrate.

The Machachi chagra attire: cowboy hat, poncho of sheep wool, goat over trousers, spurs, cross scarf around his neck, horsehair slab with his jug, brown sugar and tostado in the pocket, bottle of strong drink to provide their patrons and friends.