The three of us arrived in the misty and atmospheric town of Quilotoa after a scenic journey through the verdant hills of the Ecuadorian Andes. Greeted by dogs we walked along the shimmering wet road to the nearest hotel. As we hadn't booked anywhere to stay we peered in to find the place deserted. After a short wait a squat and smiling lady in traditional dress wandered down and checked us in. The rooms were lovely and characterful, with wooden floors and an old cast iron wood burner. A local cafe served up hot chocolates which we savoured as the air outside was chilly and in the evening the three of us gathered around the wood burner in the huge hostel lounge. I relished having an evening to draw in my sketchbook and soaked in the wonderful cosy atmosphere which felt like being at home in the U.K. on a cold foggy night in November.
We hadn't had the greatest of sleeps. Feeling slightly chilly in our room we decided to light the woodburner only for it to fill the room with smoke. Worried about carbon monoxide poisoning Craig retrieved the half smoking log from the burner and took it downstairs (in his pants) to the large woodburner not realising that a local was sat in the dark on the sofa, what a shock he must have had! The morning was bright and so we made the most of it by hurrying out to the huge crater lake that we had come all this way to see. It was a mere few minutes walk up the road and up a little slope. The crater lake at 3 kilometres wide was huge and shimmered in the morning light. It seemed to glow an emerald green but was constantly changing colour depending on the sunlight and clouds above. The rich green hills framed the water and I could just about make out a little boat dock at the waters edge. We walked around part of the lake encountering locals with donkeys and tourists alike. As we walked the scene seemed in constant flux and clouds started to cover up all of the mornings clear blue sky. While Craig and Carl walked on I sat on a little piece of grass overlooking the sight, taking in as many colours as my brain could manage. The peace and tranquility was hypnotising.
We stopped by the cafe for more hot chocolates and cheese toasties and then managed to run for the bus which had stopped just outside the town. Our fly by visit to the crater lake of Quliotoa had been well worth the journey, onwards to Quito!
🎥 Ecuador video:
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