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Location: The Andes

 

After a delicious breakfast, the 20 of us piled into the back of three open-air trucks. After a dusty ride, we arrived at Quilotoa Crater and went to the market. All of the guys bought hats with cartoon characters on them to combat the wind, while others purchased sweaters, scarves and blankets for themselves and friends at home. After shopping, we then began our trek around the beautiful crater and down the mountainside, enjoying the amazing views. Spotting our goal, a blue awning covering a local basketball court where we would have lunch, we hiked for three miles on dusty, sandy and narrow trails to our halfway point, the town of Guayama. Resting and eating in the ever-changing weather, we prepared for the second half of our trek and some of us even snagged a quick nap. After lunch, continuing on our hike, we descended into the valley and crossed a small stream with a log bridge. The last mile and a half of our hike was purely uphill, with many water breaks. Even on the last leg of the trek, the views were still gorgeous. As we continued our ascent towards the lodge, the clouds descended upon the mountains. Arriving at the lodge, all were excited to eat and shower. Though it was a tiring day, it was very fun and memorable.