Day 22 – Day Three Quilitoa Loop Trek

Last day of the Quilitoa Loop Trek. We rise early and carry our breakfast to eat along the way. Just like day two, we automatically head down into the canyon to trek back up again. No more downs, mind you, it will be all the way up to the top of the crater from here. 

Yes, we are headed to the Quilitoa Laguna which sits atop an ancient volcano. The views promise to be magnificent. We have to get there yet. 

Before breakfast, we are faced with one heck of a climb which was reminiscent of day two. My legs are very tired at this point, but the only way is up, so we continue on, huffing and puffing, Mali leading the way as usual. The top of the first climb, which was about one kilometre, graced us with Mirador (viewpoint) good enough to eat breakfast at. We enjoyed the view and continued out upward flow. 

We piked up anther dog along the way. Skinny little thing. Apparently, as Mali found out, he has a thing for day-old popcorn. Up and up we went for another four and a half kilometres, dog in tow, no popcorn left. 

The end was near, but not in sight. The deep sand we had to climb to the top of the crater told me just how close we were. The deep sand is hard to navigate, it gets in my boots as the sink and I try and find some kind of balance. At this point, at 3900 metres above seas level, everything seems a challenge. Mali yells out ‘you are so close, why are you going so slow’. Not helpful. 

The top though wipes away all feeling of pain as I drop my pack in the sandy gravel and take in the view of the turquoise lake resting so happing inside the Quilitoa Crater. It’s cold up there. The dog leaves us for some other travellers – he’s fickle too.

We sit and enjoy momentarily before we throw our pack on once more to walk the run of the crater halfway around again to reach the town of Quilitoa where we eat lunch, jump in the back of a ute to jump in a bus which takes us back to Latacunga for the night. 

Great three days.  

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