A Crater Lake, Altitude Sickness and Cool Felt Hats!

Quilotoa Travel Blog

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We arrived at a tiny town called Quilotoa, the only intention to see the emerald crater lake. What a wee journey it was! The road is much better than what we had thought it was going to be (especially after the roadfrom Popayan to San Agustin in Colombia)! We arrived just after lunchtime and the cloud was setting in - being at 3,800m it was pretty damn cold!! We walked up to the crater lake and had a look decided not to go down until the next morning due to the cloud setting in - a decision which ended up being the right one as it ended up pelting down with rain and others were caught out!

I wasn´t feeling that great and slept for a few hours while Nathan tucked into his book (which he finished). The place we were staying at included breakfast and dinner (and we later saw why because there is barely anywhere you can actually eat here) which we were looking forward to because we had missed out on lunch.

I went to get up to go and have some dinner and felt so sick. I felt really weak, lightheaded and sick. Nathan explains it as me having a bit too many to drink! Anyway, I felt terrible. It was short lived though, I just ended up having to lay down and felt much better after something to eat. Mild altitude sickness.... how delightful! We met an American guy who gave me some Vit B and also put some grapefruit seed extract into my water bottle (apparently it helps the small intestine and kills bacteria... pretty cool)!

There was a small explosion in the bedroom that night .... Nathan got the small fire going and the lady gave him a fullcup of gasoline to get it ready. Nathan put a little bit on to get it going and it literally exploded and also caught the cup on fire which was a good length away from anything! It was pretty scarey at first, especially when the cup melted and the gasoline in it spread to the wood and near our packs! Scary shit! The place was so cosy after that, and we had one of the best sleeps ever (even though the beds were a tad on the hard side).

Next morning, we got up and after hunting for ages for our tickets for the lake (you have to pay $1) and not succeeding we thought we would head down anyway regardless! And sure enough we didn´t even need them! The lake was beautiful, a striking emerald colour and the walk down only took about 45mins with us stopping for photos (including the infamous jumping photos)! The walk up however took only about 1hr. Couldn´t believe it really when you looked up from where we had come from and the height of it (and the fact we are at altitude here) it was pretty good going in our opinions!

We caught the bus back at 1pm to Latacunga and found a bus to Ambato. Once at Ambato we had to get another bus to Banos.

What a joke it was! There were buses to other towns that go past Banos but wouldn´t let us on and told us we had to get a taxi to another terminal which was just a sign by the side of the road. We ended up getting on one in the end, but jesus.... come on Ecuador! Since being here it has only been trouble trying to get on buses and the terminals are terribly organised compared to Colombia. It makes travelling a very frustrating experience! Nevermind I guess, we will get to Peru somehow!

Arrived in Banos, a town that you can not miss even if you tried! It is a small resort town offering walks and hot springs, and everything else you can imagine! We went out for the best meal of our trip here.... and all for only $15USD! Bliss! We may stay longer....!

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photo by: xander_van_hoof