Otavalo - Cascada de Peguche

Trip Start Sep 11, 2008
Trip End Jan 03, 2009

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Where I stayed
Hotel Riviera Sucre

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Monday, September 22, 2008

On Sunday, after a leisurely breakfast chat with some other travellers in the hotel, I decided to visit the Cascada de Peguche - a waterfall close to Otavalo.  What was supposed to be a 2 hour return walk ended up taking about 3 1/2 hours due to the crap directions the fellow at the hotel gave me.  He said to just follow the old railway tracks all the way there. Even showed me on a map. So off I went. The railway track was easy to find and  I passed a few signs to the falls on the way, so knew I was on the right track.  But after Iīd been walking for an hour, no falls in sight, and I realised I hadnīt seen any signs for a while, and the track was heading away from the hills where youīd expect a waterfall to be. Just keep following the railway track my arse! What he had neglected to tell me was that at some point, I actually needed to leave the tracks and walk up a road (later, on my way back, I saw that the road wasnīt signposted, so itīs no wonder I missed it)
Once I realised I had gone way too far, I managed to ask directions from various locals (my spanish is improving), and eventually found the right road.
Still, I didnīt mind because it was a fine day, and my walk took me though little villages and past farming communities that I otherwise wouldnīt have seen, with crumbling houses, dusty fields, and women washing their clothes in roadside streams, while their kids lugged the clean laundry back home in a wheelbarrow. 

Once Iīd passed the various food and souvenir stalls at the entrance to the falls, the short trail through the forest was quite pleasant.  There were lots of people there, mainly locals, with families picnicking or letting their dogs run (lots of people in Ecaudor have dogs).  I was surprised to see so many eucalyptus trees in the forest.  I donīt think I even thought about what sort of trees would be in South America, but it never occurred to me that there would be eucalypts outside Australia.  It felt kind of weird. The falls themselves were quite impressive, and it was a nice break from the town, because the forest was so cool and the air was clean.

By the time I got back to town, it was lunchtime, so I ate a delicious pasta at this nice little organic food cafe with a couple of other ladies who Iīd met at the hotel, and then we all caught the bus back to Quito (a much more pleasant 2 hour ride this time!).  I would have liked to have stayed at least one more night in Otavalo, but I had to be back in Quito for lessons the next morning.
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Lisa Brignoni on

YES!!! I did the same exact thing two days ago. The owner said, just follow the tracks and I ended up way in God knows where! I'm planning to try again today!

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