unURBAN

unURBAN

Ecuador!

EcuadorPosted by Malin Tue, June 28, 2011 20:18:14

Funny that our first rodeo ever was in Ecuador. Didn’t imagine that when we planned our trip, starting in North America. Unfortunately we missed Calgary Stampede by two days, so this local one in a small mountain village in Ecuador would just have to do. So it happened that we stopped by to “visit” Luis and Lacey from www.lostworld expedition.com. We had met Luis more than 6 months earlier in San Francisco on our way through the States. He was home for some business, while their Landcruiser was parked in Costa Rica. They have spent about 2 years to get from San Francisco to Ecuador. In other words, quite a bit slower than our pace. Now, they were just back from the Galapagos (awesome pics on their website!), and were working for a hostel close to Ecuador’s second highest mountain, Cotopaxi. We found a “how to get there” on the web, and showed up unannounced together with nordsued.ch.

The view from the hostel is breathtaking (and they have the same view from the toilet and the Jacuzzi!). Secret Garden is a fantastic place, and is kind of a combination of a hostel and a farm. We really got to relax here for a couple of days. They grow quite a bit of their own food, and even have animals on the farm. Unfortunately, the cuys (Ginny pigs) weren’t ready for butchering…. One day the whole hostel went down to the nearest village for the happening of the year – Rodeo!

Lots of people and lots of fun! And lots of drinking… Among the locals, that was. Some, including the judge and the handlers, were quite drunk well before lunch time.

Not always easy to see who is chasing who…

From Secret Garden we lost track of Nordsued. They wanted a day or two more in the Cotopaxi National Park. We headed for the ***** Loop. This is a round trip in the mountains, on small winding roads, and through indigenous villages. The loop has its name after a crater lake that most guidebooks describe as an absolute must. We decided to leave after a couple of pictures. Cold and too windy. There is always another crater lake…

We don’t really know what kind of cars they normally drive on these roads, but sometimes we felt like a semi-truck.

Definitely Andes!

And can you avoid using farmland for a road it is a plus…

Drive fast…

As usual on this trip we have a weak spot for hot springs, and especially now after having left the Caribbean and warm weather behind us. The last few days we’ve mostly been higher than 3000 meters / 9000 ft., and it’s actually quite cold. The highest elevation on the loop road was 4012 meters / 13160 ft. After driving the loop we arrived in Baños in the evening. Baños means bath in Spanish. We stopped at a hotel in the town run by a French guy that let overlanders camp in his parking lot for 3 USD a night. Here there should have been several pics of the camp and of the hot springs, but for some strange reason we didn’t take a single picture in Baños. We have no idea why. Well. We took quite a few more the next couple of days. More about that in the next post!

E&M

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