National Recreation Area El Boliche

One of the places we visit a lot is the El Boliche Recreation Area, this is one 30 mins drive away and provides us with quiet, sometimes we are the only people on the trails, which we enjoy, the isolation, the peacefullness and it is a great way to catch up and talk just the two of us.

It is located next to the National Park Cotopaxi. El Boliche is famous for its pine and cypresses plantations, that cover 200 hectares, and has almost completely replaced the moorlands. The first trees were planted in 1928 in what used to be Romerillos ranch, with the idea of recovering the eroded soil and to reforest the moorlands.

alpacas
Alpacas live wild in the park

Those were other times: today we know that these plantations affect the soil and biodiversity of this ecosystem, and that the moorland needs to be filled with trees.

train
The train station at the entrance to the park

Next to this area is the “El Boliche” station of the Empresa de Ferrocarriles del Ecuador (Ecuadorian Railway Company), and thanks to it every weekend thousands of visitors arrive to experience the attractions that this protected area has to offer.

polylepis
Polylepis tree on the side of the path

There are a variety of walks, none of them are all that long, and some only about 30 mins, which is great for those with younger ones.

trail
At the start of one of the trails, view of the Ilinizas Volcano

In addition to the trails there is a space for camping, with bbq sites with roof, cabins some with and some without fire places and a play area.

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Ilinizas NP

View of the Ilinizas

This past Sunday the weather was amazing and we left home excited with such a blue sky with hardly a cloud and drove an hour or so to the NP of Ilinizas, these are twin peaks close to Quito, the  Illiniza Sur standing slightly taller than Illiniza Norte, its northern counterpart, at 5248 meters and 5126 meters respectively. We were not going to climb them, but hike a little and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and tranquility.


A detail of a tree at around 4000 mssl

As we drove past the entrance to the park the weather began to close in but that didn´t deter us in the slightest. We carried on driving until the car park at an altitude of 3960 metres above sea level.

We started to hike and here is when all the fun began as I turned around to look at the view and said Ít´s going to rain´.   Humpf´´ was the reply from my husband. Within minutes  the clouds came closer the daylight disappeared as it rapidly got darker and of course it started to rain. We walked back down towards the car and before arriving it started to hail. And while the storm raged over our heads we carried on walking and arrived at the car park.
This me me in the hail whilst we were waiting for it to stop before driving off.Blue Flowers after the storm on the  journey home

 

As the weather and light were bad I decided to converte the photos into black & white. We didn´t get much of a chance to take many photos but it was a fun excursion all the same.

 

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