4×4 Guaytacama-Ecuador-Stuck in the Mud

Imagine a fun family day out at the 4×4 race track. Well, it is fun really, but maybe not  so much for the competitors, on a cloudy, but dry day in June, in a small village in the Ecuadorian highlands.
The day should have started at 10.30 am, at least that’s what all the posters said.  But we knew better, and arrived at 1.30pm, went straight to get some hornado and asked the lady serving us how long had the event been going and her reply was: it hasn´t started yet. Oh well, glad we weren’t in a rush to get there.

After a delicious hornado we walked towards the track  and just at the start was the first was car in place and awaiting the Queen of Guaytacama to come and wave the flag, through the mud she walked to do her duty, for all of 30 sec. and then off she went.

The first few cars finished the course, but from there onwards the track was such a mess and the disorganization that came with the event you knew you had to be in  Ecuador. Only a couple more cars made it to the end.  There were more cars broken down dotted around the course than finishers.

There wasn´t a safety vehicle so be seen either in the form of a policemen, ambulance or fire brigade. The policemen normally at least come and check it out just for their own amusment.

We got some fun photos and had a great time.

The one on the left tried to pass the broken down car. But also got stuck for a couple of minutes.

It took the organizers or disorganizers around 20 minutes to get this car out.

Another one bites the dust

 

Highland Views

Quilotoa in the Cotopaxi province is a volcanic lake. With stunning views, altitude and local indigenous people. Easy to get to from Latacunga by bus or by car. With an altitude of around 3800 masl.

There is a hike from the top of the crater to the lake, around 1410 m long. Doesnt seem¨far does it, but just you wait, steep paths, sometimes with loose stones and sand makes for an interesting hike, tough on the knees but for thoses who arrive at the bottom enjoy the well earned rest, because you have to clomb back up again. But there are horses for your comfort.

Stunning blue water with some hardy flora.

View from the bottom

Highlands view from close to the Quilotoa Lake

The route from Quilotoa to Latacunga

Market Day in Saquisili, Cotopaxi

Saquisili is a small town in the province of Cotopaxi, with only around 5000 hab, but on Thursdays the population more than triples because of the market. It´s one of the great ecuadorian markets well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.Carrying 50 kgs of potatoes, as if it were 5 kgs.

Loading up goods and people in the local transport

Chicken for dinner or lunch

Potatoes for sale, hard to buy less than 50kg, but then they only cost around 7-8 USD

Highly sophisticated stalls set up, most people sell their goods off of the floor, but you can´t beat the price.

I got caught taking this photo, but luckily she didn´t complain.

I was trying  take another shot here, but the woman and her baby got in the way, but this came out just fine so I thought I would add it.

I bought something from this seller so I thought I would be cheeky and ask for a photo. Lovely pose I thought.

Ilinizas NP

View of the Ilinizas

This past Sunday the weather was amazing and we left home excited with such a blue sky with hardly a cloud and drove an hour or so to the NP of Ilinizas, these are twin peaks close to Quito, the  Illiniza Sur standing slightly taller than Illiniza Norte, its northern counterpart, at 5248 meters and 5126 meters respectively. We were not going to climb them, but hike a little and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and tranquility.


A detail of a tree at around 4000 mssl

As we drove past the entrance to the park the weather began to close in but that didn´t deter us in the slightest. We carried on driving until the car park at an altitude of 3960 metres above sea level.

We started to hike and here is when all the fun began as I turned around to look at the view and said Ít´s going to rain´.   Humpf´´ was the reply from my husband. Within minutes  the clouds came closer the daylight disappeared as it rapidly got darker and of course it started to rain. We walked back down towards the car and before arriving it started to hail. And while the storm raged over our heads we carried on walking and arrived at the car park.
This me me in the hail whilst we were waiting for it to stop before driving off.Blue Flowers after the storm on the  journey home

 

As the weather and light were bad I decided to converte the photos into black & white. We didn´t get much of a chance to take many photos but it was a fun excursion all the same.

 

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Feeding the animals

Many locals have animals in their home, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, etc. Here your see a photo of a local, from a small village in the Cotopaxi province taking food to their animals, instead of taking the animals to the food, they go out collect the grass, carry it all on their back, a heavy load, to the animals, you see this a fair amount with the older people, the man in the photo was around 60+ . He will do this around twice a day. Crazy or what. But thats life here in Ecuador. This photo was taken from the moving car.

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