On my last full weekend in Quito, two friends, my host dad, and I took our last paseo, a camping and hiking adventure to Laguna Quilotoa, the largest (or highest, I cant remember) crater lake in Ecuador. Distinguished by its turquoise waters, the site put on quite a show for us, as we enjoyed 70 degree weather and sun, and hiked a section around the rim, more difficult than it looks for the dry, loose sand that makes up the terrain in this environment. The town before we arrived to Quilotoa was precious, and we ate lunch in the weekend market (rice, fried chicken, salad, soup, and juice all for $1.25!!) where we met an indigenous couple. After chatting with my host dad over lunch they offered to take us up to the lake instead of us going in bus, and give us a little tour on the way of the surrounding canyon. The weather was perfect, and the night clear, so we got to see all the stars above the caldera. The next morning, we woke up with alpacas outside our tent, kayaked in the lake, and rode horses up out of the crater. Passing the Andes, I began to get a taste of how much I would miss this place. These mountains are like unlike anything I have ever seen, the landscapes are so vivid they seem alive. If you come to Ecuador for one reason, it could be for its beauty. I dont know how it’ll be going back to North American hiking and camping!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I'm studying studio art, entrepreneurship/social enterprise and international studies at Wake Forest University (Go Deacs!). Born and grew up in Canada by Malaysian born parents, I've always had an awareness of other cultures, countries, and customs. I've always wanted to travel South America and after spending the summer interning in Lima and volunteering in Kenya, I am excited to stay in one country for a while and live out some new adventures. I enjoy everything about the outdoors--camping, rock climbing, hiking, biking, running, hammocking, and have recently taken up surfing while in Lima. I also love all things art-design, painting, photography, and film, and hope to be able to share my experiences in Quito through my words and images.</span></p>