Donkey Crossing

Welcome to Donkey Crossing! Donkey Crossing is an on-line account of one Limey and one Yank living one Dream. From September 2006 until the end of 2007, we plan to visit friends and family on five continents and immerse ourselves into various cultures, natural phenomena and ways of life. We hope you enjoy our tales and visit often! Cheers, Jason and Rachel Napoli

Sunday, October 29, 2006

One of the most popular topics of conversation around the family-style dinner tables at Mama Hilda´s among fellow travelers was the transport schedule for the area. Nobody seemed to know when buses were coming or going, whether or not the AM milk truck would show up, or if the price of a hired pick-up truck was $5 or $25. With sore legs and bums from the previous few days in the area, we decided to take the matter in our own hands and hire a whole bus to take us up the 11,500 ft pass to Laguna Quilotoa. We knew Marty would be impressed with the German engineered vehicle.
Laguna Quilotoa is a huge crater lake located at one of the highest points of the Ecuadorian paramo. Here is the self-timer on the camera hard at work. The hike down was quite enjoyable, however the steep and arduous climb back up did us in for the day. One part was a sandy scree that seemed to put us back half a step after each one forward.
There was a bit of a traffic jam on the way back up from the bottom of the crater, but the slow traffic wasn´t much of a bother and provided a decent photo opportunity.
After we made it back to the crater rim, we visited a father-son team of artists showing off some of their local wares. We purchased a couple painted masks to pump up the weight in our packs and to help support the struggling local economy.

For our last night in the area we decided to take another recommendation and stay in a small village called Tigua. Tigua is most famous for it´s unique style of painting created by El Maestro Julio Toaquiza. While visiting the Toaquiza Gallery was a highlight, so was staying at an incredible hacienda called La Posada de Tigua. It´s a working dairy farm owned by the lovely couple pictured above, Marco y Margarita.
Here´s Rachel making a new friend. We had a wonderful stay on the farm highlighted by many of Margarita´s homemade delicacies including cheese, yogurt, dulce de leche, fresh eggs and chicken.
We will leave you with a final and beautiful visual memory from an amazing week high in the Andes.


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