As our arrival to Quito conensided with the arrival of Papa Fransciso meant that our schedualed first day of work, turned into a day off. As the whole country celebrated with a holiday. To get out of the maddness in Quito, a day trip to Quilotoa was arranged.
My roommates and I boarded a bus filled with other volunteers early in the morning, and set off on a 3 hour ride to the famous crater lake. We saw Cotopaxi Volcano from the distance as the clouds circled around it. I cannot get over the landscape of this beautiful country, almost every hour in a bus landscapes differ. It truly is one of the most diverse countries and Ive only been here 3 weeks!
On our journey to Quilotoa, we made stops at a small town called Pojili, where we wandered through through our first small market. Next stop was a small house where we were able to experience, if for a short while, how the indigenous people live. The family of four lives in a small house with only one beds, no running water and 200 guinea pigs.
We then briefly stopped at a small town called Tiguia, where we were able to see and purchase some local art and one hell of a view.
Last stop Quilotoa! Hands down one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. A massive volcanic crater lake, coloured 50 shades of blue. We continued to hike down 400 meters to the lake itself stopping often to take pictures and marvel at the sight. Once at the bottom, a few of us purchased the local Ecuadorian Pilsner (which reminded me of a good ol Waikato), hopped on a kayak and paddled around the lake. Best beer Ive ever had.
The hike back was horrific, took over an hour to get back to the top but were rewarded with a heart warming meal of potato and quinoa soup and rice with chicken. If you are ever in Ecuador, you must make the trip to Quilotoa.
With love from Quito,