After leaving Secret Garden with heavy hearts we headed to do the Quilotoa loop with our lovely French friend, Pablo. At home Pablo is a hiking guide, so we struck lucky and had our own personal guide.
Having left our main bags in the nearby town of Latacunga we started our adventure in a small village called Sigchos, the lush green landscape stretched out before us. We had a lovely but very wet first day. Luckily we stayed in a hostel in a small place called Insinlivi that had a fire so we were able to dry our clothes.
The second day had some of the most dramatic landscapes as we walked towards out next destination, Chugchilan. The green valleys split and parted and the landscape seemed endless. We had a lovely picnic lunch in the sun followed by a relaxed walk to our second night’s accommodation.
Our third day was a longer day of hiking with more elevation gain involved. The landscape began to change, and became less green and more volcanic looking. We continued up towards the crater lake, but by the time we got there the weather had closed in and we could not see a thing—we could have been anywhere! We then spent the night in Quilotoa, which was a great idea as the next day we had clear skies and we were able to see the crater. The reflection of the clouds in the water was absolutely stunning. Having taken about a hundred photos we continued on to our last destination of the trip, Tigua. Home to a community of indigenous artists, the little trodden path was completely ours. After a couple of wrong turnings and precarious river crossings later, we arrived (sort of) in Tigua. The heavens opened and it began to throw it down. Although initially intending to visit some galleries, we were hindered by the rain and decided to hail a bus back to Latacunga. The next day we waved off Pablo, again teary for the second time in a week.