About Me

I am in South America from October 3rd until December 17th! I am spending the month of October volunteering in a child care center in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Then I have a month and a half to explore Ecuador and Peru!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fiesta de Mama Negra

Right now I am sitting in an internet cafe in Latacunga, Ecuador with my two travel companions, John and Truman. A little background on how I came to be here...

We began our trip with the intention of doing the Quilitoa Loop. It is a route described in my Lonely Planet book that has lots of options for hiking and seeing small towns along the way. On Thursday morning at 6 am we set off for a little town with a big market by the name of Saqisili. The market was huge! There were all different areas for prepared foods, fruits and veggies, clothes and jewelery and meat. One of my best purchases of the day was two avocados for 50 cents and a mango for 25 cents. Fruit here is sooo cheap but absolutely delicious! I also bargained with some of the venders and came away with some great purchases. For $10 I got 2 hats, a pair of gloves and a pair of socks all made from Alpaca (similar to llama). I also bought a few cool bracelets.

After the market we took a bus to Latacunga then hiked 6 miles to the next town on our journey, Pujili. Sewaty, tired and somewhat hungry we then decided to take a bus for the next 25 miles to the next little town on the loop. However, we missed getting off at that town, and the next, and ended up getting off the bus at the stop to go to our second to last destination on the loop, Quilitoa. We got off the bus and met three girls from Boston: Mikayla, Kay and Jackie. They were haggling with a pickup driver about the cost to drive them to Quilitoa. We quickly became friends when we discovered we were all going to the same little mountain town. We ended up taking the pickup ride together.

In the US it is illegal to ride in the back of pickups. Here, it is a common form of transportation. If you have a truck you can be a taxi for an unlimited number of people. We became friends with the girls on the ride to Quilitoa and ended up getting a room at a hostel together. That night we walked the two minutes from our hostel to Laguna Quilitoa.

Laguna Quilitoa
This is a lake formed in the crater of a once active volcano....

and I need to go because we are heading to a town called Machachi. I will pick up where I left off at a later date...

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