Quilotoa? More like “kill-my-knees-a”

My second day trip from Quito was to Quilatoa Lake. The day started off early at 6:30am – quite the feat in of itself since I am the world’s worst morning person. The tour was booked through our hostel so pick up was right at the doorsteps!

The first stop was a delicilous breakfast in a concrete room/house at the side of the highway.  Most homes are made of cinder blocks here and most homes and builings look unfinished with rebar sticking out the roof. Our guide said that this is because an unfinished house in Quito pays less taxes than a complete one – and everyone works the system. It seems like a safety hazard to me!!

After that we were on to a market (I never did catch the name of it) that was so colourful! All kinds of fruit, veggies, meats, bags of beans and other essentials. I bought some berries because I couldnt figure out if the were a different bigger sized raspberry or blackberry. Turns out they are blackberries – just not the kind I am used to seeing at the store in Canada. And they were really sour!

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Next we travelled up and up and up until we stopped to see some local farmers. Honestly this stop felt so gimmicky but I did get to hold a guinea pig and take a nice photo of the farmers and their shelter.

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It was a beautiful drive for sure!

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Finally we arrived at the big stop and main attraction – Quilotoa Lake, found in the crater of an semi-active volcano. I guess the risk of it errupting is low since people can hike down the bottom.

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Before I saw the hike I was asked if i would want to ride a horse back up. I declined because 
a) I am scared of horseback riding  and 
b) it cost an extra 10 bucks.
Well about 5 minutes into the near vertical or crazy switchback trek down i changed my mind – surely a horse would be better than my lungs bursting open.

The bottom was nice even though my legs felt like jello. I kayaked around the lake and found a spot where the volcanic gases were bubbling up to the surface. I tasted the water (I was curious) –it was kinda salty.

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After that I sucked it up and got on a horse! My horse was a new mama and her little pony followed us the whole way. It ended up being pretty mellow. Especially because my horse would often just full out stop while everyone else kept going. Here is a pic from the first 3 minutes before my horse dropped to the back of the pack…

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Sometimes it would take a few minutes before the owner realized I was stuck so I just sat there. It was a good excuse to keep taking in the view until I was rescued. I eventually caught up to another horse who literally farted it’s way up the  crater! Hilarious!

Then it was time for our almeurzo – a fixed lunch of soup, juice, and a rice/meat meal. These are super cheap averaging about $3US. Then we left to return to the hostel. It was a long drive so I took a siesta! Overall a really great day!

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