Quilotoa Loop Day 2 || Chugchilán, EcuadApril 16, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C
Incredible scenery, creating an alternative route and the worst lunch in history.
Day 2 of the Quilotoa Loop got off to a much easier start considering the path continued on right next to our hostel. Unfortunately we struck a bit of rain to begin the day but at least it meant the others could put their newly purchased ponchos to good use!
Before long the sun was back and we found ourselves getting a bit lost again, but the locals around here seem to be used to this. One little lady shouted at the top of her lungs across one of the valleys to us, even though we couldn’t distinguish what she was saying nor could we see which way she was pointing. Bless. Ultimately we must have picked the right direction because she walked off as if her job was done. We were still using a combination of our directions from the hostel back in Latacunga and an app called maps.me which lets you look at maps offline. Somehow the boys led us off on our own route for most of the day but it was probably more stunning than where we were supposed to walk. Of course they disguised this for the best part of the day, much to their amusement and then ours once we figured it out. On the plus side it meant we had the path to ourselves.
Eventually we met up with the normal path at one of the miradors (lookout) and found a few worried faces from people we’d met at the hostel the night before. We quickly reassured them our different route was somewhat planned as they thought we’d become completely lost. The rest of the day’s path was mainly uphill, punctuated by a cute wee donkey who jumped off the hillside to say hello and then lastly we walked on the main road to the village of Chugchilán.
Chugchilán was a bizarre little place, almost a little ghost village. You could literally see the whole place within about 5 minutes walking, if that. Blink and you miss it sort of vibe. The hostel we had in mind had space when we got there and again included dinner and breakfast for a mere $15USD.
We’d arrived around 2-3pm without having had lunch so opted to eat at our hostel given there didn’t seem to be many (if any) other options of places to eat in the town. We made the mistake of letting the staff loose on giving us the “Menu del día” without clarifying exactly what this would actually be. Usually this involves a soup, a main course and a dessert. Cue the worst soup one could ever imagine. Think pasta boiled for about three days, a hard boiled egg and chicken pieces. It was horrendous to say the least and it still gives me shivers to think about. Subsequently none of us ate much of this and then were left speechless when the owner came to take our bowls away and asked why we hadn’t eaten it. Awkward. Courses two and three were a little better but definitely not good enough to stop Bronte and I venturing off to find an ice cream to fill the void!
A pretty lazy afternoon followed considering there wasn’t a massive amount to do and as soon as the sun disappeared it was pretty cold as we were still at 3200m altitude. Hammocks and reading kept us busy until dinner, which was thankfully much better than lunch. Another early night before we’re back pounding the pavement for day three!Read more