Alausi: Living Above the Clouds

Alausi
Central Highlands
Ecuador
October 18, 2013
 
Hola,
 
Can you imagine eating, sleeping, living all your life above the clouds? 
 
The folks in Alausi (pop 8111) live at 3323 meters or 10,902 feet or 2.06 miles above sea level!  
 

On the ride south through the Andes along the narrow Pan American Highway from Riobamba to Cuenca, I pass Cajabamba, Guamote and Alausi.
Just south of Cajabamba, the waters of Laguna de Colta are choked with a golden reed called totora.  The reed is an important crop and is used by the indigenous women for weaving baskets.
 
The small town of Guamote (pop 2788) sits high in the Andes (elev 3050m) but not as high as Alausi.
 
The descent into Alausi is quite dramatic.  I peer into the valley below.   Clouds are everywhere.  And then the town, above the clouds in the gorge below.
 
If I descend into a town two miles high, how high was I to begin with?
 
Always high in Ecuador,
 
Jan

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