June 2, 2013

Check out This Big Ol' Hole

The view from our cabin
Last weekend we road tripped to Chugchilan and the Quilotoa crater with two friends for the long weekend. Ecuador celebrated an important independence battle on May 24th, so we took advantage and checked off one more trip on our bucket list. This will  be the last new trip of our time here and it didn't disappoint. It was easily one of the best trips we've done here.

Glass bottle wall at the lodge - one way to build
 in an eco-friendly and beautiful way
The Black Sheep Inn is an eco-lodge set about 4 hours away from Quito - the last two hours were rough riding, but we made it fine! After lunch at the lodge, Greg and one of our friends went on a hike, and myself and our other friend stayed in the hammocks in their sunroom and took some naps.

We really had the hard life because after a nap, we all checked out the wood-heated sauna and hot tub until dinner. There were many interesting expats and tourists at the lodge so our dinner discussions were extra fun.

We must have come on the Jewish weekend or something because at least six other Jewish people were there that weekend. After all this time of barely knowing any other Jewish people, it was funny we got to know so many others on this trip.

The next day we went to the big ol' hole, aka the Quilotoa crater, for a day of hiking and picnics. It was basically a volcano that exploded long ago and its top fell in to create a giant lake. We got lucky because it was bright and sunny in the morning when we got there. But it was cold. Hat, gloves, warm layers, and windbreakers were all needed! Later in the day, as we were leaving, a thick fog rolled in and you couldn't see more than 100 yards in front of you.
Countryside we passed through to get to Quilotoa
The lake itself  - the dark spots are cloud shadows

All ready for the cold and wind!
Greg along the ridge
There was the possibility to hike down and back up, or hike about 5-6 hours around the crater ridge. We opted to hike around the ridge until we got tired and turned around. I'm glad we didn't have to hike through the fog because it would have been all pain and no gain since we wouldn't have seen anything.

Yellow flowers along the ridge
Close-up of the flowers
Passing along the ridge, you have the crater on one side and beautiful rolling hills and fields on the other. These bright yellow flowering bushes were in bloom and it was a beautiful contrast to the blue-green color of the crater lake. I told Greg I hope we can plant some of these flowers in Colorado one day and have ourselves a little Ecuadorian alpine garden.

We dubbed this pup Poop-Face because he had poop on his snout.
Poop on the snout or not, he was super cute and got food out of us.
You can see the fog that's starting to roll in to the left there. It was pretty cool to watch.
Back at the lodge, we soaked in the hot tub and read for the rest of the afternoon. At night, we scrounged up marshmallows, biscuits, and chocolate for makeshift s'mores. They were delicious. I wish we were still at the lodge - it was a beautiful trip!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! going to add this one to my life bucket list of places to visit too!