Fabulous crater lake

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Yes the title gives it away a bit. We managed to find a taxi driver that didnt want $80 to take us about 60km each way to the lake (buses only go part way - we think and very intermittently) and got it for $40 instead. Alonso drove us out of Latacunga with our new sunglasses and fruit from the market and up past Cotopaxi and we could see other volcanoes in the distance including Chombarizo and Ilianzi too. Amazing.

We head out into the patchwork countryside and more windy roads through small towns and we doze off a bit (after we have admired Cotopaxi sufficiently) and in about 2 hours arrive at Quilotoa. Are a couple of hostels here which would be nice to stay at. We get out and go to the viewpoint to see this absolutely gigantic crater lake with vivid blue water.
The view is spectacular and incredibly clear. We are very lucky there is no cloud today as this sometimes goes into the crater.

We leave Alonso and start to walk down despite offers of donkeys or horses, I hope we wont regret it. Stopping at various points on the way to admire the view and rescue our footing. We get to the bottom in about 45 mins it is very dusty and slippery in places. I only manage to fall over once. The lake is pretty clear but the weed stops me from paddling. There are boats to hire but we resist and have our fruit lunch (to make up for this mornings fried breakfast) overlooking it. We reluctantly get up to go and start our ascent. It is pretty difficult climbing as it is so sandy, it reminds me of the dunes in Brazil, but is a lot higher! It is literally 2 steps forward and one back. We consider getting a horse for $5 each but carry on without one and have several breaks before we get to the top in under an hour, feeling quite proud of ourselves!

Alonso seems quite impressed we did it all on our own but then again he is getting $40 of us. Start to go back the way we came past school children finishing the morning´s schooling (they tend to do mornings or afternoons in S America). After some photo stops of canyons and the volcanoes we snooze a bit and arrive back in Latacunga by about 3 for a wander and have now spent nearly 3 hours on the internet as its cheaper here! Didnt realise a weeks worth of blogging would take quite so long!

Off to Quito tomorrow and looking forward to Dave´s dad iminent arrival on Sunday in Santiago! Suspect our blogging will be less frequent while he is with us but will update when we can.
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