WHY HELLO THERE AMIGOS! I've had a fewwww wild days roaming around Cotopaxi... which may or may not be due for a massive volcanic eruption in the near future.. u know me.. ALWAYS LIVING LIFE ON THE EDGEEeEe
So where to begin....
As soon as I got on the bus from Latacunga to Zumbahua, the first town on the Quilotoa loop, I watched the driver CHUG A BEER and proceed to turn on the engine to navigate the bus through the windy mountain roads... luckily there was a massive picture of Jesus at the back of the bus.. soo.. ya know (WWJD?!?) Then, being the good samartian i am, i gave my seat to a little old lady.. only to have the girl on the other side of the aisle vomit on me (i'm assuming because the roads were very windy!)
When we finally got our destination, I wandered around with a polish/Belgian couple I met on the bus. We hitched a ride on a pick up truck to the quilotoa crater and since they were only going to spend the day in quilotoa instead of the full hike, i said my goodbyes and started the trek, And thats when the good times ended and the fun begins.
SOOOO after reading Wild, (Which i have my own mixed opinons about.. hate that popular travel books by women always have to be the product of a bad relationship/some sort of escapaism/spiritual journey.. WHY CANT I JUST BE HAPPY AND HAVE FUN?!!) i had always wanted to do a long hike by myselfffff... and while i've done day hikes alone back home spoiled US citizen (trying to eliminate American from my vocabulary) i'm used to hiking in areas with very distinct trail markers. The Quilotoa loop does not have many (any!) I was following a makeshift map some guy drew, directing me to the next largest town, Chingchilian. it was supposed to be about a 4-5 hour, 11km hike. Instead it took me 4 hours to go about 5km... when i realized i was still stuck in the same area and a lot of time had passed, i started to panic a littttle bit.. i was contemplating on whether to back track, but i couldn't even remember where i started, plus it was alll uphill, which would be a pain, when suddenly i heard two people speak spanish. since they were the only humans i had come into contact with since i left the crater, i decided to scream "HOLA! es posible ayudame??" While i couldn't initially spot them, i was able to trace their voice to a spot when suddenly i see a lady jetting down the hill, over to me. i started to run down to and we ended up meeting in the middle of a bushy area where she agreed to walk me to her village.
I was trying to make small talk (since i'm from the US!) with my subpar spanish. i found out she was married, had 4 kids, and her name was Maria. She pretty much put me to shameeeee.. while i was huffing and puffing, she was breezing by in her sandals and skirt.. after we got to her home where she made me tea, i wanted to plant a big one right on her lips, but i wasn't sure if it was culturally appropriate so we took a selfie instead.
I ended up walking to the next town over, Guayama, and walked up to the first person i saw and asked whether i could pay for a meal and a room to sleep in. I ended up staying with a cute little family where i got to watch the mother cook and play/dance with the children.
The next day I woke up and walked to Chingchilian where I spent a lazy day reading and drinking tea.
I met some nice German girls who were going to Sigchos the next day, which is the next town on the loop so I asked if I could tag along with them. We started early the next day and it was a beautiful walk through the valley. It got superrr cloudy in the afternoon and after getting to sighos, i decided to take the bus with the girls back to latacungua since there wasn't really anything special about the town.
Now I'm finallly back in Quito, where I'm awaiting the arival of some girl friends who I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE!!! SO GLAD I SURVIVED & hopefully i'll have some fun stories to report with less anxiety.
Lesson learned: Don't fuck around with nature.