Laguna de Tiloncocha, Cotopaxi Province

We drove in search of the Laguna de Tiloncocha. Deep in the Andes, lost in the Canton of Saquisili, about an hour and a half drive from Saquisili, Cotopaxi. We asked in the main square which direction to take and headed off with a full tank of petrol, food and drink.  First we had to get to the Parroquia of Cochapamba, and from there find the communities of Llamahuasi  and Changungaloma.

The road started out paved, then turned to stones, a bit like cobbled then  turned, which is actually better, into dirt.

We kept asking frecuently in which direction to go, people are friendly and helpful. Passing through the Parroquia of Cochapamba the locals were in the main square playing the local pastime Ecuavoley. Volley Ball, Ecuador style.

Dirt roads, but very wide.

It was a Sunday so plenty of people were also out in the streams doing their laundry. Standing in the icy cold water, often for many hours, washing, hitting the clothes with large wooden sticks almost like killing the clothes.

Laundry drying in the sun.

There is not one single sign post, not even directing you to the communities, so as a result we missed the turn off for the lagoon, but luckily for us we came across someone walking along the road and asked for direction, we missed it by only a few hundred metres.

Small communites.

Here the road turned into a ´non´ road. It was made when the dam was constructed at the lagoon, but at this point we didn´t know this. I seems that few people travel along here now.

. It is not a big lagoon, located at 3800+ masl. We parked the car and walked  10 mins or so to the lagoon.

View of the Cotopaxi volcano, mostly cover in cloud on the right of the photo.

There is a short walk around the lagoon. The wind was fierce, icy cold but we were prepared with gloves, hats and warm clothes. This is a non tourist spot. Difficult to find, but a great day out all the same.  You will see some small villages and communities untouched by tourism and modern life. The MIDUVI (Ministerio de Desarrollo Urbano y Vivienda del Ecuador) has been through the area  giving housing to all  who need it. All the homes are the same and painted the same colour.

Laguna de Tiloncocha.

 The water in the lagoon is collected, and distributed throughout to all the local homes.

Local flora, specialist in surviving at high altitudes.

Walking around the lagoon.

Very windy, ´The Dam´

Not forgetting the local fauna.

Who lives here, well the pigs of course. Caves dug out of the side of the road

All photos taken with the new 50mm and my faithful Nikon D90