Today was a lazy day of relaxation and window shopping. We entertained the locals by playing their game of "extort the Gringo".Prices here are outrageous but I did manage to get a decent deal on some earrings made from some poor dead butterfly`s wings. One-dollah-fitty.
In the late afternoon, Dawn, Georgia, Christine, Henry & I booked a jeep tour up to the crater of the Tungurahua volcano. Our tour guide, Mario, tried to cram all 6 of us into his old tiny dinky jeep that barely seated 5 people. I opted to sit in the trunk and I paid for it as I was slamming from side to side up the rocky unmpaved road.
We ended up driving 3/4 of the way up and continued hiking to an old abandoned ranger station which was evacuated during Tungurahua´s last major explosion. We never got to see the volcano´s snow capped peak since the fog crept up in a territorial manner. The drive back down was an adventure on its own. Mario was holding onto the wheel with sweaty palms, eyes wide open, flicking between high-low beam, trying to make out road segments in the evening´s thick black foggy darkness. Luckily, we didn´t drive off a cliff, I didn´t pee myself, and Mario got us back before my 9 o´clock bed time. Good night world!