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New Years Hike, Quilotoa Loop

Posted by Artesia Irawan on January 7, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Yes I've been to Quilotoa a month earlier, but if you read my blog, it was cloudy, foggy and no camera. So I was really looking forward to do the hike this time with Patrick, hoping for better weather. We took the bus at 9.30 arriving in slightly mellow weather up the crater lake 2 hours later. But after half hour hanging out there, the sun started to greet us. I only asked for 5 minutes sunshine to take my photos, but I got more than that. One of my happiest moment!


We stayed a night in Quilotoa at Chukirawa hostel, right across the lake. Damn cheap, 8 dollars per person, including dinner and breakfast. The room is so nice, clean and bright. Compare to overpriced Cabanas Quilotoa or the hostel next door, I think we got the winner in the area.


The next morning, we walked on the crater about half hour before we start making our way down towards Chugchillan. The walk is pleasant, and will always recommend the area by walking ( if you have time of course ). You can easily walk alone without guide, follow your instinct. It's a huge open valley you can see where you're going. Very hard to get lost I must say. We could see the canyon, Chugchilan from the distance and Guayama village.


The Witch and her Damn Family

We're walking on a fine trail ( supposed to be a correct way to go down to Chugchilan) when one local boy told us not to continue walking on that trail, cause it's not the way to Chugchilan ( lying bastard!! ) He then explained to us, we can't walk alone in the area and insisted we need a guide in order to go to Chugchilan. The only way to go to Chugchilan is 'his' way and will only cost 3 dollar. But we wanted to walk alone and take our time and enjoy it, we didn't want the guide at the first place. Then the boy started to make excuse that there will be a river we can't pass or the walk is dangerous, there will be thieves blah blah blah


Eventually we managed to ignore the boy and walked down but then we met the mother, the troublest makerest among the family. She was more persistent than the boy. We kept walking when she asked me if I want to take picture of her and the family ( with a cost of course ) "No gracias" . When we start walking down she was so 'concern' and screamed at us there's no way down there. But we kept walking and we reached Chugchilan 4 hours later in one piece.


We had a talk with Paula and Marcel in Llulu Llama, Isinlivi. Tourists spoilt the locals, they gave money and made them beggars in their own house. Yes they're poor, but sharing your lunch pack would be more appropriate than giving money. People becoming insincere, desperate or worse, they becoming vicious when they didn't get what they want. Kind of spoilt our morning a bit but we're glad to met them early enough during our trip, because since then whenever we asked for direction or talked to other locals, we met sincere people who helped us with a big smile nothing more than just willing to help, that's kind of making our day everyday for the next 4 days we walked in the area from Quilotoa to Sigchos.


Mama Hilda

It's a luxury hostel, I was there a month ago with good price ( thanks to Mitchel for the bargain ) this time we stayed there 2 nights just to relax and hanging out. We had privileged to met Mama Hilda herself and the whole lovely family, because it was during the NY, I think the whole family came down to help. Absolute treat for us.



The walk from Quilotoa-Chugchilan-Insinlivi-Sigchos are equally beautiful. But I have to say the walk from Chugchilan-Isinlivi is my favourite part. You went down to the valley in between beautiful green canyon and eventually walked on the side of the river bank before you making your way up again all on the slope of the canyon. We visited one house to ask for direction, a house on the cliff with a view to die for. We decided to have our lunch snack over there. The people are so friendly in the area, I felt like putting them in my pocket and carry them with me.



The Meadow

Reminds me of the meadow from the Twilight the Movie


On our last part from Isinlivi-Sigchos we took the steepest down and steepest up during our walk only to teach me something, that there's beauty of finding something great from the unknown and the uncertain. We thought we lost and started to feel hopeless right on the top of the hill, but turned out we're only 3 minutes walk from the main road and just right on time to hitchhike a local truck who kindly enough stopped for us.


It's a memorable way to end my 2010 and start my 2011, special thanks to Patrick who's been my amazing travel partner in the last one month who's now continuing his journey down south to Peru. I'm really looking forward for our next adventures in the future.


More photos of Quilotoa


Categories: Ecuador, Trekking/Cimbing