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Feb '12

Glimpses of Tungurahua

After being in Banos just over a month, we had yet to actually see the top of Tungurahua, the massive, active volcano overlooking Banos. We had been seeing glimpses of Tungurahua everywhere but had been left empty-handed every time we tried to capture a picture of this elusive giant.

On a hike a few weeks ago, we came very, very close to seeing the top of Tungurahua. Here, if you look closely, you can just make out the top!

So close!

Then, a few weekends ago, we went outside La Bib and were surprised to find a coat of black on everything outside. We assumed it was just dirt blown in by the strong winds the night before but before long, people who had lived here awhile were talking about all the ash.

It was larger pieces of ash than they were used to but everyone agreed that was better because it didn’t float in the air and only made a mess of everything. We spent days trying to clean it up, but everyday, we still find more!

A janitor's nightmare

We actually heard the volcano once while at Spanish class. It sounded kind of like a canon going off in the distance. It is very hard for us to distinguish between the volcano and the many other random explosions that seem to happen daily around town. We’re working to hone our volcano-hearing.

We only have a week left here in Banos and were starting to get disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to see it before we left. However, last night, after an amazing hike, we were just waking up from a nap and saw this view from out our window:

Now, to many this may just look like clouds,  but to the volcano obsessed, such as ourselves, it is very clearly steam rising from the crater at Tungurahua, just behind the mountain.

It was a clear day (finally!) and so we rushed over to our volcano watching spot and were able to capture these great pictures!

At last!

We were quite pleased with our volcano view and thought if we had to leave Banos, we’d be satisfied with the few pictures we were able to snap.

But then today, on an outing with our volunteer group, we caught this picture of Tungurahua:

The beautiful, yet elusive Tungurahua

It was only for a few brief moments before the clouds took her away from us once more, but we’re quite excited by the recent activity and are hoping Tungurahua is waking up to give us just a little show before we leave.


6 comments to “Glimpses of Tungurahua”

  1. Elaine Olson Says:

    Wow, Abby,
    An exploding volcano so near you. Great pictures but are you safe? We are thinking of you. Where do you go next? We’ll be following your blog.
    Aunt Elaine

  2. Ava Says:

    Wow! What an incredible progression of pictures of the volcano. What a rare experience!

    Maurice and I were in Seattle when Mt St. Helens blew, and ash blanketed the city. Dangerous. Magnificent.

    So, when are you leaving????

  3. Marie Says:

    Hope it’s just a Little Show!

  4. Abby Says:

    hahah, yes Marie, we are hoping for a little show that then quickly disappears….

  5. Abby Says:

    Wow Ava! That’s incredible! Based on the stories we’ve heard it’s both dangerous and magnificent!

    We leave Banos on Saturday but my Mom is coming to Ecuador for 10 days so we’ll be back with her for a couple days next week.

  6. Abby Says:

    We are actually very Safe Aunt Elaine! The crater of the volcano and shape of the mountain would send the lava a different direction from the city. And, there are evacuation procedures and safe places to go if there is any problem. We were impressed how well organized they are about it all.

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