Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Night Interruptions.

Cotopaxi lost in cloud.

We're using a new tent, one that is in essence a mosquito proof bivvi. A free-standing, rather upmarket bivouac. One, that in extremis will pitch in a bug-infested room. With its vast mesh screen and the flysheet folded back, offers a widescreen view, and on a hot night, one that will capture any cooling breeze that might be passing. That uninterrupted view has another advantage. It's a pacifier when wild camping. Rustles in the night will always be amplified and when filtered through a part comatose brain, an ant becomes an elephant, a falling leaf, a knife wielding maniac. I can, at least rouse an eye and not see that gremlin's shadow. Still, sleep is never perfect.

Volcán Chimborazo lost in cloud.

I've spent the day cycling past the warnings. Which way to head in the event of exploding mountains, splitting earth and smothering ash. In Latacumba, I'd got excited by the prospect of green-painted arrows on the tarmacadam, only the cycle route didn't want to cooperate. Kept heading away from the mountain. Of course. It was the evacuation route. Sitting in an eatery, I inspect the map on the wall. It's shaded in green and grey. Potential beds for lava-flowing rivers. Then there was the road cutting. Hacking its way through the hillside, exposing a classic soil profile, a timeline of Volcan Cotopaxi's tempestuous past.

Cotopaxi lost in cloud.

All very sobering. So it's of little surprise that my sleep-fuddled brain was attuned to all things of a destructive nature. A slow, low grumbling coming from somewhere over there. An erupting volcano. A mobile erupting volcano. Or the lumbering Ecuadorean military aeroplane returning to its base.

So I settle back, count the stars, sleep-doze, with smug satisfaction. That whining mozzie can't get me.