|Pichincha / Imbabura|
|Dispatch 10 - Epilogue|
|There is a choice of routes to take to return to Quito: For the most ambitious, climb through the cloud forest to Tandayapa, La Sierra, Nono and the Mirador, then descend into Quito.|
|If you need a little spiritual help
making it to the top you can say a prayer at the Virgin along the road.
As the road climbs up to the paramo (grasslands) the views get better and better.
|The alternative and easier route follows the main Quito-Esmeralda road via Calicali. There are still plenty of views of orchid and fern laden cloud forests. Even so it is not exactly easy; the road climb about 2000m (6600 ft) in 40km (25 miles). That is an average of a five percent grade (or you can take one of the many buses that pass or flag down a ride in a pickup).|
|Near the equator (actually 250m south) is Ecuador's most popular tourist attractions, Modal del Mondo (Middle of the Earth) -- at its core, it is a monument to the French and Spanish scientist who did the definitive research to determine the circumference and shape of the earth in the 1730's. Over the years, food courts and craft shop have been added to give it a theme park feel. There are still a couple of good museums (separated admission) on the grounds to add substance to the experience.|
|From Modal del Mondo, you can look down the valley and see Quito and Mt. Cotopaxi, which is the full circle on this expedition.|
|Please join us for our next Ecuadorian Adventure. It is not as tough as you might imagine.|
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