The past weekend we went to Quilotoa for a hiking weekend. Quilotoa is located only 3.5 hours by bus southwest from Quito in the state of Cotopaxi. We took the bus at 7 o'clock in the morning from the Terminal in Quito to Latacunga. From Latacunga we immediately got on the bus to Quilotoa...okay after having some freshly baked Tortilla de Papas from one of the vendedors in the street. Yummy!
We got to Quilotoa at around noon and were welcomes by José and his family. The family owns a hostels and usually hosts volunteers. We had some tea and since the clouds were coming in, José took us down to the lagoon for a short hike. We decided to do the roundtrip of the crater lagoon the next morning. The hike down to the lagoon was easy but to come back up again needed strenght and good lungs. At an altitude of nearly 4.000m my lungs were pumping. :)
After a simple but delicious early dinner with soup and potatoes, eggs and cheese we enjoyed the evening with the family in front of the oven, helped cutting wood and had some tea to keep warm. The next morning we rose at 5.45 and enjoyed the sunrise. The clouds were still hanging low and you could see the sun rise above them. We had breakfast and left at 6.45 for our 5 hours hike around the lagoon. The views were incredibly wonderful and the colour of the lagoon seemed to change with every hour. José, our guide, would play the flute, no matter if he was going up a mountain or down. We hardly spoke going up a small hill, our lungs were longing for air. Tim was an exception...he walked like as if we were going for a stroll at sea level.
After a 5 hour hike through the wonderful landscape of Quilotoa we got back to the hostal, hungry and exhausted BUT: HAPPY!!
A trip that is really worth the sweat of a long hike. :-)