After spending almost two hours drifting in and around Riobamba’s center looking for a cheap hotel, I finally came across the Hotel Glamour. It was the sixth place I’d checked out and the first that was equipped with wifi in the rooms.
Of the two rooms that were left, I chose the huge one that had a work table. The other room on offer was only $10 but it didn’t have a window. I always try my best to avoid musty, windowless rooms. The big one was $15. The man kindly gave it to me for $13 after I asked for that price. I thought: It’s more than I want to pay. But, the room is great and I’m really tired of looking at hotel rooms. I have a vista of a snowcapped volcano to find before sunset and I’ve already used up way too much time.
I stuck my head out of the hotel room window and spotted the snowcapped volcano to my left. I stepped out and headed in that direction.
I wandered into a park to ask someone if there was a viewing point somewhere. The people seemed almost as aloof as they might in a northern European city. People seemed unaware of my presence. So I asked a group of homeless or alcoholic guys who seemed to be hanging out and passing time.
One man got up and asked:
“Cuál Volcán? Tungurahua?
“No, el otro.”
He walked me to another side of the park, and pointed out an antenna maybe one kilometer away. I power walked up a hill and passed the antenna. I kept walking. I noticed the volcano to my right and headed that way.
Then, I came to a point where I could see the active Tunguahua Volcano in the far horizon. I’d just taken an up-close photo of it the morning before in Baños, about 80 kilometers or 50 miles away.
On that side street I found a couple of friendly people who had no idea where I could find a view of the other volcano, the one that I was originally looking for. I then caught a small glimpse in one direction and headed that way.
After making a couple of turns, a kilometer or two later I noticed the volcano in the distance. Standing in front of it was a pedestrian bridge. JACKPOT!
Because the sun sets quickly near the equator, I was almost too late.
Miraculously, looking in one direction I could see Baños’ Volcán Tungurahua. It was now almost all covered in clouds.