We journeyed to the beautiful Quilatoa volcano, travelling for a few hours along the spectacular “Avenue of the Volcanoes”.
On the way, we experienced the opportunity to meet a local family from the Paramos community. Welcomed by a man, woman and son, we entered their home which consisted of a one-room, thatched hut. There was one bed for the family, and about a hundred guinea pigs scurrying about under the bed. These were pregnant guinea pigs and mothers with their newborns, staying warm and safe in the family home. Once the babies are grown, off to market and guinea-pig bar-be-que. Guinea pig is one of the most common foods in Ecuador. I think we could be more comfortable with the concept if they didn’t serve them whole – with heads and tiny feet and hands intact.
The path down the crater inside Quilatoa Volocano was steep and thick with loose dirt and rocks. Betsy and Alex accepted the challenge while Jim remained at the top enjoying a cup of Ecuadorian coffee with our guide and a few new friends. Dodging erratic mules trudging their way back up, Betsy and Alex slowly hiked and slid our way down steep switchbacks down to the beautiful blue-green lagoon that filled the crater.
Kayaking inside a volcano – I can now cross that one off my bucket list!
The very steep climb back up was made a lot easier with the help of a mule. An Ecuadorian guide, (clearly more used to the altitude than me!) ran alongside and urged the mules along. The mules had a mind of their own, and would zig-zag all over the trail and would come alarmingly close to the cliff’s edge. A few hikers on the way down had to dodge the mules coming back up.
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Next stop Rain Forest and Hummingbirds
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