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ECUADOR - AROUND QUILOTOA (June 2007)    photos

This small town and nearby lake are very popular amongst tourists.  I left early in the morning hoping to arrive in time for the market.  But the bus broke down and all passengers had to wait for the next one.  When it arrived, everyone tried to get in at the same time.  Seeing this, I just climbed onto the roof and had the best view ever, although it was freezing.  Before I even got to the market, one woman said "if you want to take photos, you pay $1".  The market was full of local people dressed traditionally, buying and selling mainly produce.  It was unbelievably colorful and lively.

From there, I went to the beautifully Quilotoa lake.  It sits in a crater and it is quite a sight.  I planned to go to the next village, but I missed the only bus.  So I decided to walk  It was supposed to be marked and take 4 hours.  However, most signs were destroyed.  Soon after leaving, locals offered to guide me.  I just wanted them to point me in the right direction.  One kid run after me showing the way and asking "do you need a guide?".  Soon we ended up next to his house, and he asked "and now, do you need a guide?"  I felt like hitting his empty head, but instead I started descending into the steep gorge.  They all watched me and I had to make it, my pride was at stake.  It was quite a challenge but I ended up at the bottom, crossed the river and found a road.  It was still a long way.

I got a lift to the next village and saw some guys playing volleyball.  "Can I play with you?", I asked them.  "Of course, join in!".  I was getting ready to show them how we play volleyball in Poland, when I heard something I couldn´t comprehend.  One guy said: "you can play with us if you pay $5".  I just walked off swearing at them in polish, because I was so upset I couldn´t think in another language.
After leaving the village, a very helpful old man explained the way to me and after 2 more hours of descending into steep, green canyons and climbing up the other side, I finally arrived.    photos