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


After the weekend of socializing and visiting more friends in Quito, Rachel and I decided to head to a lovely area called Quilotoa for a five day trek through high Andean paramo. It was a unique opportunity to hike from village to village with our packs and not depend entirely on the Ecuadorean bus system. Our trek started in a very small village called Isinlivi and demanded a nine mile hike up and down the Toachi canyon to a village called Chugchilan. The photo above is the view from the loo at the first hotel.

After a few miles on the first day, we cautiously peered into the canyon knowing we had to scale into it and eventually climb back out at the end of the day. Here is Rachel getting deep into the canyon at a narrow gap.

The suspension bridge below was an interesting and shaky highlight at the base of the canyon. We arrived at the other side to lay out our packed lunch and rest our weary backs and feet.

There are only a few accommodation options in Chugchilan. One is a high-end, self-proclaiming eco-lodge called The Black Sheep Inn. We took a recommendation to stay at the equally beautiful and one-quarter the price option called Mama Hilda´s. The view of and from Mama Hilda´s is below.
One thing we never did quite much of in the past was horseback riding. Mama Hilda´s offered the opportunity (only $12 for four hours of riding!), so we gave the walking legs a rest and the bums some action. After only moments on the horses Rachel declared we need to try and ride in every country we visit.

Our guide, Pedro, is pictured below. We had three guides join us and leave us during the ride and they were called Pedro, Pedro y Pedro.
The photo above is of the two peaks Iliniza Norte and Iliniza Sur. It was a beautiful sight and quite a rare one to see the North peak completely snow covered. We were able to keep both Ilinizas in sight for most of the ride.

Our last night in Chugchilan we were treated to some local kids doing traditional dance in the garden of the hotel.
They dipped and weaved around a pole, making a pretty rainbow with their ribbons. Impressively, they managed to unravel their decorated pole without entangling themselves in a mess of colored ribbons. Bravo!


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