July 24th Ecuador

by - July 26, 2018

It's the last day of the Quilotoa loop hike.  Once again, we had communal breakfast and then packed up to leave.  I gave Dingo the dog some of my breakfast and he seemed pleased.  The weather was not on our side this day.  It was crazy windy and got worse and worse as we ascended the mountains. At some points you had to push your body into it in order to keep your grounding.  About halfway through the hike a dog runs up to us.  We had to look back at pictures to confirm it and sure enough it is Dingo from the hostel.  He followed us most of the way to the crater lake.  The hike was the most difficult this day.  The entire time we were going up hill.  Now we see why some people do this loop the opposite direction.  We were very excited for the trek to be over.  Our legs were so tired from the many miles we put on over the past 4 days.  When we got to Quilotoa Lake we were more than relieved.  The wind was whipping and freezing.  The scenery changed immensely as we went along.  It became very dry with lots of sand and limestone walls.  One more hour and we would be relaxing on the bus back to Latacunga.  We were even thinking about trying to get to Banos in the same day.  Then the worst thing happened...  We took the wrong turn around the lake.  We went all the way down the mountain and when we got to the river at the bottom we asked a couple of local kids who were herding sheep where Quilotoa is.  They pointed up the mountain the way we had just came.  I gave them some candy and cried a little inside.  We felt so defeated and exhausted.  We had no energy left in us to get back up that mountain.  Up we went.  It was so tiring.  Eventually we got up towards the top and saw other gringos.  It made us feel better to see others had also taken the wrong path.  A local lady, wearing no shoes, helped us all towards the right path.  We were grateful to not have to go back the exact way we came, but also annoyed when she tried to get $5 per person for helping us.  We gave her $5 total and she was absolutely livid with us.  It was only a 30 minute walk to Quilotoa from there.  The detour ended up costing us an extra 3 hours.  We were so so so happy to get something to drink and to get onto the bus.  Everything hurt on our bodies.  It was a 2 hour bus ride back.  Once there we got a cab back to the hostel and they stuck us back in the dungeon in an even smaller dorm room.  We repacked all our bags and then went out to Pizzeria Buono again.  We gorged ourselves and then went to bed.  What a day.

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