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Posts Tagged ‘road trip’

Laguna Quilotoa

Some of my Ecuadorian friends and I were tossing around ideas for how to spend our long Carnaval weekend.  When the idea of going to Quilotoa was mentioned, we all perked up.  I met Cristina through CouchSurfing, and her profile picture is at the amazingly scenic Quilotoa Lake.  Based on that photo alone I knew I was in.  Happily, we all were, so we took a little road trip through the Andes, heading south of Quito.

We stopped on the way to explore a canyon.

When we got to Quilotoa, we were all awe-struck by the lake in the center of the old volcanic crater.  Even the locals who live there seemed to enjoy the view.

We hiked down to the lake, passing locals, burros, sheep, and other tourists on the way.

Then we hiked the trail back up.  A 400 meter change in elevation (1300 feet) is nothing to laugh at – that was a steep hike.  But we made it back to the top just in time to catch the sunset.

The next morning was sunny, making the lake even more spectacular.  The sky was even clear enough to see some other volcanoes in the distance (The Illinizas).

The lake is emerald because of all the minerals in the water, but the colors seemed to change depending on the light.  Regardless of the time of day or type of weather though, Laguna Quilotoa did not disappoint.

 

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I know I haven’t reported any adventures in the past few months, so I figured my recent road trip into New England merits an entry on this here blog. I decided I should venture into the 3 New England states I had yet to visit while I’m still living next door to them here in the Northeast. So, I spent my spring break going to Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine.

I met a cruise ship friend in New Haven, CT for coffee and a little tour of the downtown and Yale campus areas (thanks, Jared!). I then stopped to watch the sunset in Hammanassett State Park before driving on to Mystic to visit Mystic Seaport.

Mystic Seaport, Connecticut

Mystic Seaport, Connecticut

For new state # 2, I stayed in Newport, RI for a couple nights. After walking the entire Cliff Walk I can attest that strolling 7 miles along an ocean coast is good for the mind, body, and soul, although a little rough on the feet. Ate a delectable scallop dish with white beans, chorizo, and kale at a pub in downtown Newport, and discovered that horchata and chai is a winning combination. Must figure out how to concoct this drink for myself. I also tried Rhode Island’s famous coffee milk (yay) and stuffed clams (nay).

Misquamicut State Beach, Rhode Island

Misquamicut State Beach, Rhode Island

New state # 3 was Maine. I stopped in a few small towns (Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunkport) as I worked my way up the coast to Portland. The hotel clerk there gave me a “wicked cool tourist map” and assured me it would be “wicked easy” to drive into Portland’s Old Port area. So drive into the Old Port I did, where I demolished a steamed lobstah for dinner.

Ogunquit, Maine

Ogunquit, Maine

I’ll conclude with a bit of self-reflection on a discovery I made during my trip: I can drive, or navigate, or both, and was quite successful at it during my whole excursion. Over the last several years the division of labor in my past relationship was such that I didn’t often do these things because Chris was really good at them. But I learned that doesn’t mean I’m not good at them. In fact, I did quite well getting myself where I wanted to go, and I made some fun finds along the way.  This sort of independence is good for the mind, body, and soul, too.

Only 12 more states to go…

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