One weekend we grouped up a random assortment of international students and took off for a weekend long trek between towns that ends up at beautiful lake Quilotoa. This route is called the Quilotoa loop and it has been well traveled by many Ecuadorian tourists before because there is no guide necessary and you get to see a variety of nature and towns along the way.
It started with a bus ride to a tiny town in the misty clouds called Isinlivi, which is surrounded by agricultural hills that slope down at impossible angles. There we stayed at a quaint hostel where the owner provided us with a delicious dinner and breakfast and talked to us about the past travelers and even the stray dogs that sometimes wander into the hostel after accompanying the trekkers from Quilotoa. One time apparently two dogs actually went into an empty room and occupied two different beds without asking permission, which of course she was not super happy about because she had to clean those beds without getting paid for the effort. She also told us that one time the Mayor of Monatana stayed there!
The next day involved a sunny walk along the edge of a valley, and then down into it where we crossed the river over a wonderfully thin and beat up bridge, and then back up the other side to the next town. That portion was my favorite day by far, and it concluded with a relaxing evening in an even cooler hostel in Chugchilan full of interesting world travelers who we met at the communal dinner and plenty of hammocks to relax on.
The following day would be our final leg from Chugchilan to Quilotoa. As a special treat we decided to rent horses that the hostel provides to take us up. It was something different and new for the majority of us. I was definitely a little unsure at first sitting on top of that powerful horse, but of course it had done that exact ride between the towns plenty of times before. If you want to see the destination of the Quilotoa loop, check the next blog for the photos of the deep, blue, green, breathtaking Quilotoa lake.
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<div>My name is Chloe Trifilio. I am an Environmental Science student with a minor in Recreation at Ithaca College in New <span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">York, but for one semester I will be studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador! I am originally from the great state of Vermont </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">where I love to hike, bike, climb, kayak and generally explore the Green Mountains. I am also on the Ultimate Frisbee </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">team and I'm very excited to see how Ecuadorians get down on the field. I hereby promise to use this blog to show </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">everything that I see and do in Ecuador, which will include climbing, playing frisbee, exploring the city and a trip to the </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">Amazon!</span></div>