Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Lake tramping in Northern Ecuador

Five years ago I took a couple of months out to do a whirlwind trip to South America. Mainly I had dreamed of seeing the animals on Galapagos Islands and hiking in the high altitude mountains of the Andes. This is the continuation and retelling of that journey. Kris

After a couple of days and a good look around Quito I needed to get out of the city hustle; somewhere more remote and wild. After climbing Pinchincha volcano I was craving a little more nature. When I read about a hike around a massive lake that sits in the core of an extinct volcano I couldn’t wait to get started, I just needed someone to go with. I recruited two guys from my hostel – Calvin from New Zealand and Andrew from Australia, both ten years younger than me but kind enough to join me on a random adventure.

The hike was unmarked but suggested a loop around the caldera; a caldera is what’s left when a volcano erupts and blows it’s top off. This creates a circle of massive steep mountains with a hole in the middle. Over time the crater filled up with water and created Lagunas de Majonda or Lake Majonda. An incredible landscape to look at: our mission was to walk around it, creating our own path by tramping, hacking and wading in the wet bits.

We took a local bus two hours North West of Quito, close to the Colombian border, to a small town called Otavalo. Most of the people that live there are traditionally dressed indigenous Ecuadorians – seemingly beautiful people and selling all kinds of outrageously dyed fabrics, fruits, meats and dubious things that we weren’t brave enough to try. From the village market we hired a taxi to take us up a 17km long dirt road, up a steep incline to the start of our hike.

With every step I morphed into a dirty, messy boy and it was so much fun. We walked hard for over 4 hours through slushy lake edged moss, pampas grass, smelly liquid mud forests and up and down really steep mounds, all to see how we could possible get around the lake. We got covered in scratches and probably should have had some cutting implement like a machete. After our feet got covered in mud and our socks socked we started freaking each other out by imagining what parasites and weird massive bugs possibly live in the lake and may cause us to lose toes. Ginormous bees and buzzy things inspired this conversation.

The hike was invigorating and challenging – rewarding due to the need of having to carve our own trail through some really hard core dense areas. I must admit I was a bit worried we would make it back in time for our arranged pick up. Also we were the only people in a remote area and we’d made our taxi driver promise to return up the rocky road to come and get us at a time we roughly guessed it would take us to get around the lake. With some relief we made it all ok, the taxi driver didn’t return to rob us or any other imagined sinister scenario. It pays to be cautious in most parts of the world but sometimes you just have to trust in strangers and the locals we met a long the way didn’t disappoint.

Dirty and weary, we poured ourselves into the public bus back to Quito with an interesting crowd of people holding chickens and corn baskets. High on nature we all looked forward to the start of our group tour the next day, We were going to start early in the direction of the Amazon. Already the group has voted against public transport in favour of paying more for a dressed up Gringo coach. I’m a bit worried – all we need is name tags and it’s offically the soft travelling I feared. Just kidding, not that drastic I’m sure.

Soon enough I’ll be swimming in hot springs, doing some jungle trekking, and then heading to a place called Banos, which is meant to be like the Queenstown of Ecuador where you can white water raft, ride quad bikes, hike and party.

Be in touch from there!

Kris

Five years ago I took a couple of months out to do a whirlwind trip to South America. Mainly I had dreamed of seeing the animals on Galapagos Islands and hiking in the high altitude mountains of the Andes. This is the continuation and retelling of that journey. Kris

Social media whore us:

Related posts:

A rumble in the jungle
Poking around Paddington
Exploring the women's temple of Banteay Srei
Back to Top

Write a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Essentials

Pages

Instagram

 

Search