Trek, Chugchilan to Isinlivi

Trip Start Nov 21, 2012
Trip End Jan 13, 2013

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Flag of Ecuador  , Cotopaxi,
Monday, December 31, 2012

Today turned out more to be a more beautiful walk I felt. However the instructions to assist us had shortcomings.

We walk to the next village when down the canyon wall. Again we hear drums as the locals ready themselves for tonight.

Dropping to the valley we followed the river as it skirted some mountains. The ranges where coated in fields. The terrain looked more hospitable today than yesterday's dry sandy soil. Perhaps something to do with more protection from that cold wind.

Leaving the river we start ascending through a muddy path. Jumping from one mud island to another trying to miss the slippy & wet alternative.

Opening up to a plateaux left us with a stunning view of valley below. However there where some pesky insect that when landed had super awesome grip. Especially to my top where the inspects would lose a leg when I flicked them away.

Down a little we crossed a stream as it turned out in the wrong place. Although this room as past a nice ruin of sorts it meant a loose steep ascent back to path.

We struggled on up taking our own route. Surviving we took the final path to village arriving at 1am.

It was dead. Dead on New Years. We don't understand. Someone said there was a bus out at 2pm. We waited. And waited. 2.30pm I was restless. I did not want to be here for NYE. However we had a money shortage. We needed to get to 1 of 3 places.

1) back to Chugchilan where we knew the Aussies would be (and hopefully a small loan if required)
2) Sigchos where there should be buses to Latachunga
3) direct to Latachunga.

We stopped a truck. No luck. Then a ute. Wanted $20 to Chugchilan. We took it at $10.

After 10mins we hit a road block in a tiny village. It was a party here. People in masks. A game of Ecuavolley taking place. They let us through the blockade.

We arrived in Sigchos to our surprise. He said we could get a bus to where we wanted from here. We waited by the plaza next to stuffed dolls of humans. Clare ordered chicken from a street vendor that turned out to be neck pieces.

Over an hour passed when we saw the 2 Americans surrounded by 20 locals. We seconded an empty bus telling driver we ALL wanted to go to Latachunga in an attempt to get him to take us there. He didn't.

We waited some more till 4.30 when our opportunity presented itself. A 5-6 seater ute to Latachunga negotiated down to $45. We agreed $10 each and a mother with 3 lovely kids paying $5. Ok that was 8 plus driver in car.

The roads where windy. NYE blockades a plenty. Masked crusaders at each block wanting a small monetary payment for their efforts. It was slow work especially at end where we hit bigger towns. Their costume got crazier with many cross-dressing.

It was well over 2hrs ride & darkness when we got to Latachunga. Outside the station we bought masks to join in with the locals. The town was going off. We needed to get to hostel, grab our main bags in storage their, have dinner, drink & party.

We walked in a about a 10 block square. Each block had a traffic jam caused by crossdressors. They where getting their leg up on car bonnets. Rocking the cars. Flashing their fake breasts. General good fun. Each blockade had a float with the stuffed dolls. I think there where some vows or wishes for 2013. Thou shall not crossdress for another year perhaps.

I was wearing a scary mask with a jacket and hood on. I decided it was more like Halloween & needed to scare the locals. Jumping behind groups of kids on the back of utes, 'BOO'. Putting my head through open car windows 'BOO'. I made a number of locals shat them self.

At midnight they let off fireworks & burnt their dolls. Some beat the dolls up first as they kicked away the evil of 2012.

A fun & local way to end 2012!
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