well this blog hasn't really progressed as i would have hoped in 2012. i could blame a lack of internet, which is partly responsible, but it seems as though i haven't really found the time in the first week and a half of this new year. i'm not sure when or where i'll find the time next, i don't like planning things in advance, so here's the first entry of the year. like me, this mountain is in ecuador - vilcabamba
to be precise - and is called mandango. as soon as i heard the name i knew that i had walk there, like firemen and baggy trousers
, it's a fun word to say in spanish. the hotel
where i was staying provided maps, advice and guides for a series of walks around the area. this one was given 4 out of 5 on the difficulty scale and it was recommended for experienced hikers only. plus there had also been recent robberies on the trail, rare for the town, so you were advised against bringing money, valuables or cameras. but y'know it's called mandango, so i figured it was worth the risk and effort. part of the instructions on the trail guide included the line turn left into the field and pass the barking dog
. i thought that was pretty funny when i first read it, as though the dog was part of the landscape that always remained barking in the same spot. after passing up and over this mountain i made it to said field and was introduced to the dog in question. it turns out that he does like to bark, and it's a lot less funny experiencing that at a close proximity compared to reading it on a page.
here's the original