I’ve been staring at this Volcano for six months, driving back and forth through Ecuador, it’s not hard to spot. Cotopaxi is the second highest active volcano in the world, it towers majestically and threateningly over the Ecuadorian landscape, and for some reason I just felt drawn to it. I have had this inexplicable obsession with climbing to the summit. Of standing on top of Ecuador’s most famous volcano, and staring out into the land that since November has completely and utterly stolen my heart .
It’s hard to say what drives someone to want to conquer a mountain, is it pride, stubbornness, stupidity or something else? Why does it feel so innately primal to reach the highest point possible and stare at the world from above? For that short second all the pain and anguish of getting there disappears you’re high on more than the altitude. You’ve beaten the mountain and your reward is to peer for the briefest of moments at the beauty in this world. All the magnificence that surrounds you comes rushing towards your eyes, greater than the sum of their parts. You look, as the giant you stand on does at the world, and you see what it must be like to be something more than human, it is a transcendent experience. Continue reading