Posted by: Googie | April 18, 2010


I had worked really really hard the past week, and I was looking forward to sleeping-in on Saturday, and later going to Ambato for some shopping. But Lizzy & Nicolas had other plans for me, for at about half past six they had woken me up and were standing next to my bed with huge grins.

Thirty minutes later, Lizzy, Nicolas, Tanya, Ed, Dotahn, Emmily & I were headed towards the legendary Quilotoa caldera, which was formed by a powerful volcanic eruption about 800 years ago and has since accumulated water to form a 250 metre deep lake.

The first look at the beautiful lake takes your breath away, and we were no exception. It was one of the most amazing sights ever! Emma & Damir had advised us to trek around the crater, and not bother with going down to the water. They’d been to Quilotoa before, but had chosen to go down to the lake instead of trekking on the crater. Unless your name is Mr. Lance Armstrong, you cannot go down to the lake, come back up and then do the trek along the crater on the same day. So we decided that we would simply walk around it.


The first look at Quilotoa

It was going to be a 12 km (7.5 mile) walk, which we thought would take around 3 to 4 hours. Boy, did we underestimate or what?!! By the time we had done the first climb, everyone was dead tired; and yours truly who normally prides himself on making easy work of seemingly impossible tasks, was the last one to get up there.


The climb that almost killed me


Handsome horse along the way


White, white, brown, white, white


The peaceful but highly toxic water


Still a long way to go

But once I got acclimatised to the thin air, I was able to fare much better. During the walk, one comes across an astonishing variety of landscapes. For a while, you’re trekking on typical mountain terrain, and then suddenly you’re on barren land, then in a patch of cloudy pine forest, then on a sandy beach like area, then in a weird un-earthly landscape, then in a dense rainforest like region – the variety is simply incredible and very strange. And all this, as Ed put it, when you’re looking at the lake from every f***ing angle possible 🙂


From the lush green valleys to wet marshland


From the wet marshland to the dense rainforest


From the rainforest and onto the moon


From the lunar surface and into the foggy pine forest


From the pine forest to the beach


From the beach back to the lush green valleys


Finally completing the circuit to where we started from


All of us

It took us a good 5 hours, and every last bit of energy to walk around, but in the end, it was a feat well accomplished. The journey back was swift because the Gods of transport were clearly on our side. We got the next mode of transport almost as soon as we had left the previous one.

For a far better account of the trip, you should read Emmily & Dotahn’s blog post here:

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  1. 20-20 magga :))))

    and this varied landscape thingamajiggy was around the lake??? superdelux!

    • Exactly!! I was doing the 20-20 up that first peak 🙂
      But the road to this place machax… would have been among the best motorcycling routes ever!

      • mouth watering already da :)))

  2. […] for Googies point of view and some more wonderful photos check out – Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Lost Without a Plan for Adventuresix weeks! […]

  3. Had forgotten to read your blog for a while. Took me 30 mins to read all the posts…was worth it.
    Thanks 🙂

  4.’s done it once more. Great read.

  5. Thanks Ashish & Mickey!

  6. Really great post! Truely!

  7. Heh I am honestly the only reply to your awesome read!?

  8. Haha am I honestly the only reply to this great writing?!?

  9. If only I had a greenback for each time I came here.. Superb article!

  10. You’ve done it once again. Great read.

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