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Chugchilan

Hiking at 3700m

sunny 24 °C

Arrived early afternoon from Rio Verda at Chugchilan, located on the Quilotoa Loop where we stay for 2 nights. On the drive here we got to take our first ride in the roof top seats whilst we were widing through the mountain side ducking under low electrical cables, good fun (forgot to take the camera but will take next time).

Tomorrow we trek for 4-6 hours to Lake Quilotoa which is a volcanic crater located at 3800 meters, luckily all downhill at this altitude.

So after I read the above paragraph and being a few days now since doing the hike, it wasn't as easy as it sounds. Hiking at 3700m is quite taxing it seems. Once we arrived at Quilotoa we decided to take the extra option to hike down to the lake before commencing the actual planned hike, going down was fine, but damn coming up was hard, an 1.5 hr trip turned out to be a 2.5hr trip. But as I keep telling myself its good exercise for Inca Trail in a couple weeks. At the lakes edge we didnt want to take a kayak/raft to the other side and begin the hike from the other side rather then walk back up to where we just came from but we were told it would take an hour to do this, 2 people to a kayak, one has to paddle back to pick up the next, you do the math. So we decided it would be quicker to just walk back up, or so we thought.

image119.jpg

And the fun didnt stop there, after arriving back on the rim of the volcanoes we set of on the "Rim" walk which turned out to be less of a rim walk and more of a walk up and down the side of the volcano, which initially I thought was how it was meant to be then we realized our "local" guide (a German guy who has been living there for 3 mths) was lost. Which again would be too bad but when you take into account that we had to walk back up the volcano to get back on course it was a killer on the legs and lungs, then we got lost again and with more threatening uphill walking ahead to retrace our steps we decided that we would make our own way down the trail towards the nearest road. This road as it turns out was the place we wanted to be anyway, so after 2 hrs of being lost we were back on track. We did eventually make it back to the hostel just as the sun was setting at 6.30pm (thats 8hrs of walking for those counting). So our original 4 hr walk had doubled in time...good exercise indeed.

Dinner and straight to bed after this day and another drive tomorrow to a big town.

Posted by Tony's Travels 05.11.2012 18:38 Archived in Ecuador Tagged quilotoa

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