I arrived a bit earlier than 6:45 am at the meeting point at Plaza Foch, equipped with my waterproof jacket, hiking boots, hat, gloves, a few snacks and most important: some water and my camera. As it was raining and quite cloudy – due to the actual rain season in Ecuador – we were all quite happy to take shelter from the rain under the roof of the “Q” restaurant to wait for the bus to pick us up.
After a short stop at the Hostería Papagayo a Cotopaxi lodge we met the other travellers of our group and at a small Kiosko to buy some snacks for the day, we more and more drove into quite rural landscape. There was some time to get to know and chat with some travellers, a few were a bit worried that the weather would upset our plans, but as things turned out, these worries were unfounded. Listening to our guides Esteban´s strories was quite entertaining and so we quickly arrived our first main destinations: an local animal and food market. Overwhelmed by all the new impressions, sounds and smells we explored our way through the bargaining and selling people. Although I have done quite some travelling in Asia and have seen a few markets in my life it was still an interesting experience: We tried some fruits I never saw before, tomatoes from the tree, the best and sweatest mangos I ate in my life called “mangos para chupar”,…
Driving on we catched sight of the Zumbahua canyon, agricultural land and of course the dreamlike Andes. Our next stop at an indiginous family surprised me totally: A family with 4 children was living together in a small dark cottage without any electricity. As guinea pigs are eaten in Ecuador they had so many on the floor, living together with them! It is said that if somebody with bad energy enters the house they will start to cry. Luckily the guineas pigs looked quite pleased when we arrived 😉
Getting on we finally arrived at the Quilotoa Lagoon. We started our tracking down to the Lagoon and enjoyed the amazing and breathtaking view. The emerald lagoon is located on 3.800 m in the middle of an volcanic crater. Eventhough there was some fog around the lagoon the perspective was absolutely unique and gave the whole area something mystic. The way up seemed to be much more difficult, as ist was going steep upwards, but also manageable …and if you really get out of breath, you can also rent a mule to carry you upwards. We preferred to hike the whole way up to the top, talking about Ecuador, travelling and absorbing the stunning surroundings.
After the nice hike we enjoyed a comfortable lunch at a restaurant and hit the road again back to Quito..but not before we tried some chocolate cake and tea and Hostería Papagayo. Quite yummy! Well, I suppose this hasn´t been my last trip to Quilotoa 🙂