|Hotel: Hostal Mama Hilde. 14.00 a night including breakfast and dinner. Nice people and hostal. Would have been more fun if I wasn't the only one!
The Quilotoa loop is a beat up and bumpy unpaved road that begins in Latacunga and winds through some of the most spectacular Andean scenery in Ecuador. It needs a few days to comfortably explore the highlights. I decided to stay two nights at the halfway point in Chuchilan and make my way to Quilotoa from there. It was quite a trip by bus and was truly beautiful. I got especially lucky in being in Quitotoa for their annual Corpus Christy celebration which included a parade of local indigenous groups as well as food, drinking and ¨bull fights¨which were really entertaining...mostly because it became clear that the bulls knew what they were supposed to do and looked like they were truly enjoying the game. There was no blood for either the bulls or people! At least from what we saw. I also had the especially good fortune of spending the day with Ingmar and Judith from Holland who I had met the day before at Cotopaxi.
On my bus I was the only tourist and it was quite an nice experience getting to watch the locals meet their families in front of their farms. It is a big deal to have the bus come with a family member who had been to the City to shop at the markets and was bringing back supplies. We had flocks of chickens and pigs tied to the roof of the bus along with big sacks of rice and potatos. At each stop, they would have to unload the provisions and the families would all help in bringing the supplies up the hills to their homes. Kids were so cute. So excited to see their moms, dads, brothers and sisters. Everyone came running to meet the bus including the dogs! What a very special look at life in the country here.