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Day 144 - Laguna Quilotoa & Toachi Canyon

ECUADOR | Wednesday, 29 October 2014 | Views [272]

Another early morning start after a latish night I made it to Plaza Foch to meet up with my tour to Quilotoa by 6.30am.  Everyone on the bus was so friendly we quickly had a great little group for the day trip and settled in for the ride. 

We spent the morning winding and climbing our way through the Andes, enjoying spectacular views despite it being quite overcast. For most of the drive we were at an elevation of around 4000m - not that we really felt it from inside the van. As a stop off en route to Quilotoa we wandered around at an Indigenous market and then visited ‘Mr Julian’, a local farmer who showed us around his traditional farm house. The farm house was a tiny, dark thatched hut and the floor was literally covered in guinea pigs squeaking about. Occasionally the indigenous people and in particular Shamans would use guinea pigs to test people’s energy, to assess their health and as part of healing or ritualised sacrifice. These guinea pigs were however,  just for eating… Roasted Cuy seems to be pretty popular in these parts. Tastes kind of like rabbit but definitely looks like a guinea pig on your plate. It’s best if you ask for it without the ears and head...

Further along we stopped at the Toachi canyon, stretched our legs and then hopped back in for the rest of the ride to the lake.  Once looking out at the steep 4km descent most of the group opted to walk down and take a mule back up. Me and a few others decided we would walk down and back up. Why not set a challenge for a Sunday right? So we started our descent, slipped and slid in the sand and rock a few times but made it to the shores of the spectacular Laguna. It was freezing and overcast but still phenomenally beautiful. 

We made it back up in around 45 minutes-  almost record time and just before it poured with rain! Thankfully we were tucked up inside this cute little cafe with hot cups of tea and bowls of soup while it literally bucketed down. This made the trip back quite snoozy but we did all stop of tea and chocolate cake about an hour out of Quito.

Once back in town, Carla, an American woman from our group and I went to another random mexican place in La Mariscal, shared some dinner and then both decided it was time for an early night. I headed back to the Hostel, spent some time chatting with people on the roof before doing a final pack for Galapagos and then settling into bed myself. 




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