Julia and I decided to drive to Reserva Yanacocha, a reserve near the Volcán Pichincha just to the west of Quito and home to a wide variety of humming birds. The trail was near Quito and although the trails were at high altitude, they were relatively flat -- perfect for my pregnant wife and her out of shape husband. It took us only an hour to get there thanks to the directions we found on a great blog. While driving up the mountains west of Quito to the reserve, we noticed clouds hanging around the peaks. We turned onto the roughly 10km dirt road that leads to the reserve, at an elevation of ~10,000 feet, and soon we were in the clouds. Duh! So this is what a cloud forest looks like! When we reached the reserve rain was coming down at a pretty good clip and the temp was near 48F. Today was not a good day for a hike after all. We regrettably decided to drive back down to Quito and try again some other time when the weather cooperates.
The good thing is that we know the route and even though we were technically less then 10 miles away from Quito, it felt as if we were hundreds of miles away. Stay tuned to our next attempt at this reserve!