高,還要再高,尋訪Cotopaxi 前曲Up, Up, Up-The begining of finding Cotopaxi

2008年8月5日 星期二

我們不是刻意,但是登上四千多公尺這件事,在南美旅行時好像變成家常便飯。為甚麼這麼說呢?因為自從在祕魯走完印加古道的4250m後,三個月後我們來到4750m的 Santa Cruz,之後又聽到厄瓜多爾(Ecuador)首都(Quito)附近有座Cotopaxi,最高點5897m,那種「來跨越五千門檻吧~」的內心呼喚,自此一直不停的在吶喊著。加上推薦我們的建志一直提到這座山的美,以及它的極易親近度,即便在我們秀出那非常緊的時間表,他依舊說了一句,「所以你們沒有時間去囉?」於是,兩週後,我們真的又登上了這座山,Cotopaxi。
We didn't do this on purpose, however, it seemed to be a very common thing while travelling in south america. Why said that? Because after the Inca Trail (4250m) in Peru, we were in Santa Cruz(4750m) three months later. And when we learned that a mountain called Cotopaxi near Quito in Ecuador is at 5897m of its highest point, we started having a thought "lets over 5000m height~". In addition, Peter highly recommended this mountain due to its beauty and easiness. Even though we showed our very tight travel schedule, he still said: "so you won't have time to visit Cotopaxi?" Because of these, we did hike in Cotopaxi two weeks later.

Cotopaxi坐落於Cotopaxi 國家公園,是厄瓜多爾境內第二高山 (5897m),也被認為是世界上最高的活火山之一。在舊有語言(Quichua) 裏,Cotopaxi的意思是斷裂的頸子(Broken Neck)。而實際上,Cotopaxi 的形狀也就像是缺了頭的脖子,披著一件漂亮白色斗篷(白雪)。它的美麗吸引無數的本地以及外地觀光客的來訪,也因此這裡成為厄瓜多爾境內最受歡迎的國家公園之一。
Cotopaxi is located in Cotopaxi National Park. It is Ecuador's second highest mountain (at 5897m of sea level) and considered one of the world's highest active volcanoes. In tranditional language, Quichua, Cotopaxi means "neck" and "broken". Actually, the shape of the Cotopaxi is of a headless neck with a white poncho (the snow). Many local and foreign visitors are attracted by its petty and hence here becomes one of most popular national parks in Ecuador.

建志曾經說過他們是開車去Cotopaxi,因為那裡沒有公車可以到達,而我們沒有車則可能需要搭計程車之類的。但是我們是貧困的背包客呀,還是打算先找找看便宜的交通工具使用先,如果真的沒有,再想辦法。問了問Quito(基多) Hostel的櫃檯,那位先生依舊叫我們去公車總站搭公車前往,也沒提到交通不便的這件事,好吧,既然他這麼說,那我們就這麼做。
Peter ever said they went to Cotopaxi by car because no bus runs the route, so we might need a taxi. However, we are poor backpackers, so that it is better to travel by some cheap transport. We asked the staff in the hostel how to get to Cotopaxi. He still told us to take the bus from bus terminal and didn't mention how it is difficult to travel there. Ok. Since that was his suggestion, we just followed it.

到了公車總站,意外發現有個旅客服務中心,真是讓我們很開心,旅客服務中心永遠都是我們的好朋友。「到Cotopaxi國家公園要坐哪台車?」,熱情的旅客服務中心小姐告知要坐一台到Latacunga 的巴士,她還特別提醒,記得要告訴司機在途中的El Boliché 下車。這是有點奇怪,因為在一個不同名字的地方下車,不過想想有的時候這也是會發生,所以也沒多問,只再三確認雙方是說相同的Cotopaxi 國家公園後,我們就非常放心的帶著旅客服務中心小姐寫的地名小紙條前往月台,搭上這台即將帶我們去一個全新景點的巴士。
When we arrived in bus terminal, we noticed a tourist information centre is located there. You know that, we always need a tourist information centre. "Which bus serves to Cotopaxi national park?" The lady told us that we need to take a bus which runs to Latacunga and have to tell the driver in advance that we will get off in a place called El Boliché, she addressed. It sounds strange as Cotopaxi is famous but we will get off in the place with different name. However, it happens sometime, doesn’t it? So we didn't have second thought about this. After confirming we were talking about the same destination, we headed to the platform with the little paper wrote on the place names and started our new adventure.

一上車就把地名小紙條交給司機,司機困惑了一下,說「A El Boliché? (到El Boliché?)」「Si, si, a Parque Nacional Cotopaxi, esta bien? (是的,到Cotopaxi 國家公園,可以嗎?)」司機沒說甚麼只點了點頭,我們就找位置補眠去了,就這樣昏睡了將近兩個鐘頭,直到車掌先生把我們搖醒,邊說西文邊指著前方,而我們只聽懂了El Boliché,想必是到了。努力張開還是很緊閉的雙眼,搖搖晃晃地穿過站著的乘客,我們下車了。
We gave the driver the little paper but the driver seemed confusedly. " A El Boliché" "Si, si, a Parque Nacional Cotopaxi, esta bien? (yes, to Cotopaxi national park, is that ok?) The driver didn't say any, just nodded. We slept in the bus around two hours until the condutor woke us up. He pointed the front and we only understood "El Boliché" in his Spanish words. We should have arrive, we thought. Tried to make ourselves awake, passed those standing passengers, we got off the bus.

天氣還算晴朗,但是有點涼,後來才知我們已經從海拔1500公尺的Quito來到3550 公尺左右,漸漸佩服自己對高海拔的適應度越來越好,嘿嘿。
The weather was kind of sunny, but the tempertaure was a bit low. Later we just realised we were at 3550 m hight. It seems that we have totally got with the altitude, it is a good thing.

對面入口豎立的大牌子寫著El Boliché,嗯,沒下錯地點,過去一點的地方寫著到Estacion Cotopaxi 2 km,筆直的一條產業道路在眼前延伸,看來就是沿著這路走,還真如建志所說的沒有公車,不過 2公里的路也不是沒走過,就走吧。
The entrance is on the opposite side of the stree. A board stands over there, "El Boliché". So we were not in the wrong place. Few steps after this, another board shows "Estacion Cotopaxi 2km". Not mention the bus, we wonder even a car won't pass through this road. But it is fine for us to walk 2km, right? Let's walk.

沿路沒有甚麼特殊風景,倒是蘆葦一堆以及高聳松木沿路排排站,還有各式的小花陪襯,黃色的啦,紫色的啦,也是別有風趣。經過了看起來像是氣象基台的區域以及一顆大衛星,開始有點不安的情緒產生,怎麼好像跟建志形容的路線有點不一樣?邊走邊看著路盡頭遠方的高山,想著Cotopaxi 這座山到底在哪?因為我們最擔心的是,終點不是我們要去的地方呀。
It can't say it is beautiful on the way, but reeds and pines are along the road with some yellow and purple flowers still makes us have different feeling. After passing a satellite and an area like an observatory, we started feeling worried. Where is Cotopaxi? Here seems differenet with what Peter described. In fact, these are not the most important points. We were just worried that we were in a wrong place.

With anxious feeling, we kept walking. 30 mins later, we finally saw some wooden houses and a railway. God bless us. We finally met some people.

之前曾看過介紹,到Cotopaxi 是可以從基多搭火車前往,所以看到了鐵路與火車站,原本不安的心有點被安撫,不過,怎麼火車站看起來像是在維修保護呢?
We learned from a book that it is possible to take train from Quito to Cotopaxi. So we felt much better when seeing the train and station. But the station is kind of under construction??

我們經過看起來像是公園管理處的小木屋,小木屋前的牌子寫著要付門票,2 USD,嗯,但是小木屋大門深鎖,不管了,繼續往內走,有餐廳耶,不過還是門窗緊閉,有烤肉區耶,不過空無一人,有步道耶,高度卻只在3550公尺,我們看不到山,只有高聳的森林環繞。依照建志的形容,這裡應該是有許多旅客來來往往,且Cotopaxi 應該就在眼前,但這裡卻像是台灣的渡假休閒中心,放假時來個家庭聚會之類的,這一切真的是讓我們越走越疑惑滿天。
We passed a wooden house which looks like a management office. But there it was locked. We passed a restaurant, but it seems to be closed, even the barbeque area. It is not like what Peter described to us. It should be very popular and many tourists around. In addition, Cotopaxi should be easy to see. But it is totally different.

幸好看到一位像似在油漆小木屋的先生,趨前詢問這裡到底是不是Cotopaxi 國家公園,「這裡是El Boliche,Cotopaxi 在別的地方呢。」真是晴天霹靂呀。其實一路上都在說明著我們來錯地方了,譬如那只是Cotopaxi 車站 (Estacion Cotopaxi),而且走進來的岔路標的也不是Cotopaxi ,但一直沒有人可以讓我們確認,所以當答案揭曉時,還是感到非常的錯愕。 我們告訴先生這是旅客服務中心提供的資訊,他皺了眉,搖了頭,然後說我們必須回到之前下車的泛美公路(Pan-American Highway),然後搭同樣的巴士繼續往前,記得要跟司機說要到Cotopaxi國家公園。雖然是用極弱的西班牙語跟這位先生對話著,不過我們也不管到底理解的對不對,看看時間還來得及,我們便迅速的離開現場,打算趕去Cotopaxi。
Luckily we saw a sir here who was painting a wooden house. He said: “here is el boliche, Cotopaxi is in another place.” What!!!!! But this information was provided by Information Centre. He felt very sorry but we still needed to go back to Pan-American Highway where we got off before and took the same bus toward to Cotopaxi. With our poor Spanish, we didn't care if we really understood what he said but decided to leave here and head to Cotopaxi.

However, the sunny weather suddently turned to a raining day. We took the restaurant from the rain and packed our backpack in the bag to avoid wet. Because of the rain, we met another staff and changed our plan.

He drew a map on the ground and explained the location of this area.

他說,El Boliche的入口位在泛美公路上約34km的地方,而Cotopaxi 的入口處則約在45km 處,從入口處到管理處約七公里,沒有公車,所以我們必須要搭計程車進去。從管理處再到Cotopaxi 的登山起點則約14公里,由於我們沒有要做冰攀,所以只需要花一個鐘頭登山,聽起來真是錯綜複雜。不過搭計程車來回入口到登山口一個人便要價40美金,我們聽了就哇哇叫,不能理解為什麼要這麼貴,先生說這算是一般價吧,是4X4 的車呢。然後就提議我們只坐到管理處,金額是10美金一個人,然後再自行走五個小時到登山口,如果要再省錢,就露大腿攔車啦,邊說還邊演起來了。露大腿這招就算了吧,但想我們也是一天走過11個小時的,為了省錢,我們打算採只坐到管理處的方法,推算了一下出發的時間,天呀,早上六點我們就必須搭上從基多出發的巴士了。
According to his words, after getting off from the bus, we need to take taxi (4x4) to the entrance and then to the place where we can start the hiking. However, the taxi costs 40 usd per person from the entrance to the start point and return. It is so expensive, we couldn't understand why. He suggests us maybe we could only take the taxi to the management office. It only costs 10 usd per person. Or, we can do hitchhike, which costs less. But we don't think hitchhike will work, so we decided to take the taxi to the management office only. And the result was we had to get on the bus at 6:oo am.

這位先生提到從El Boliche 也可以出發到Cotopaxi,但是路程所需的時間跟從Cotopaxi 的管理處出發是差不多的,且需要嚮導帶領,他不是很建議。他還特別提醒衣服要多穿點,溫度很冷,且氣候變換很快,就跟El Boliche一樣,明明還是晴朗的天空,突然就變成大雨,這我們倒是很深刻的體認到了。雖然我們所剩下的天數不多,但是為了金錢的考量,加上登上五千公尺的呼喊,看來我們還是只好明天再前往了。
He also mentioned that it almost takes the same hours if we walk from El Boliche to Cotopaxi but we need a guide. So he didn't think this suited us. We also need more clothes cos it is cold in Cotopaxi and weather changes quickly as El Boliche. Although we have a tight schedule before heading back to Taiwan, for money's sake and the attraction of 5000m of sea level, we decided to try again tomorrow.

至於El Boliche 為何都沒有人呢?原來大部分的遊客都是周末來訪,來烤烤肉,走走步道,看看駱馬。今天是平常日,當然是沒甚麼人啦。果然這裡真的是很休閒度假中心。

原本急著要走回入口處的我們,現在多出一堆時間,變成悠悠晃晃的路人,因此慢慢享受這2km 的路邊風景。只是就如同那位先生所說,氣候變換很快,走著走著,天空又開始下起磅礡大雨,隨之而來的竟然是讓我們措手不及的五分鐘急速冰雹,讓我們驚叫連連,接著地面就飄起了一陣陣的霧氣,讓我們兩個人在雨後就像走向仙境般輕飄飄地往回程的路前進。
We were hurry to back to the entrance but now we were so free. So we walked slowly and enjoyed the scenery. Just the weather changes so quickly as the sir said. The rain came suddently and hailed for 5 mins. After that, the road started being foggy. We just walked like in the fairyland.

Although we didn't find Cotopaxi today, however, we found a new place, made two friends, and met the first hail since we travelled in S. America. It is the best part of being a backpacker. You never know what it will happen next. So today just let us take a break and have a new adventure tomorrow.

To El Boliche 交通:

1) Take Latacunga bus from Quito bus terminal to El Boliche around 1-1.5 hours. The bus runs every 15 mins. 1.5 usd one way. 從Quito 巴士站搭前往 Latacunga的巴士,約每15分鐘一班,每趟次1.5 usd。約1.5小時可準備下車,但若巴士無常沿途拉客,1小時左右即可抵達。

2) Join Chiva Express Train Tour from Quito to Cotopaxi National park. Stop in El Boliche too. Ask travel angncies in Quito. 參加 Chiva Express Train Tour,從 Quito 出發到Cotopaxi 國家公園,中間停El Boliche,相關行程可在Quito 詢問