(Tungurahua as seen through our bus’s window. –photos by Tanner Latham)
It’s roughly a four hour bus ride from Quito to Ambato. We rolled south on the Pan-American Highway, also called the avenue of the volcanoes. About 45 minutes from our destination,
one of the neurosurgeons spotted Tungurahua, which means "Throat of Fire" in Ecuador’s indigenous language. It was an active volcano that had been rumbling recently. Villages were evacuated the week before we arrived.
It dominated the horizon. A cloud of dark gray ash continually plumed up and out. When the bus windows were open, we smelled the low burn. No major eruptions while we were there, though.