jueves, 3 de diciembre de 2009

An unforgettable day at the volcanic lake of Quilotoa

Last month there weren´t classes on Monday because of the ´Dia de los difuntos´, a public holiday in which the Ecuadorians commemorate their relatives who passed away. By ´baptizing´ a little baby of bread in thick and warm fruit juice or ´colada morada´, the bad thoughts of the living (= the babies of bread) should be banned out by human blood (= the fruit juice). An interesting tradition, which we put in practice at our morning break the Friday before:



The public holiday was a good opportunity to organize another excursion, because we had quite a lot of students who wanted to see some more of Ecuador´s beautiful nature. We decided to go to the lake of Quilotoa, about 3,5 hours south of Quito. On the way to the lake we had some beautiful views of the Cotopaxi volcano, with almost 6000 meters the second highest active volcano of the country:



Around 10.30 am we arrived at the village of Quilotoa, from where it was only a 10 minute walk to the lookout. Still a bit sleepy and not yet used to the high altitude, it was quite an effort to get a first impression of the stunning lake:



Unfortunately Richard wasn´t comfortable with the 4000 meters we were on and had to stay at the village. With the others we decided to hike only partially around the lake, while the entire 5 hour loop was may be going to be a bit too much. Accompanied by the warming sun and a pleasant breeze, we enjoyed several great views of the lake and surroundings:




Back at the village there was plenty of time left to stroll around the village, have a drink or walk down to the lake itself. Together with Braden and Hannah, I decided to choose the last. A tough hike, especially getting back up, but completely worth it:




Heading back to Quito ended up to be quite a challenge as well, while we weren´t the only ones returning to the capital that afternoon (to say the least). We needed more than two hours to arrive at the bus terminal, where Lars, Andrea and their German friends fortunately still could catch the bus to the Ecuadorian jungle. In the meantime Richard had got a lot better, so it all ended well. Even though it was a long day with some unforeseeable inconveniences, still everybody really enjoyed this amazing piece of Ecuadorian nature.