Friday, August 29, 2008

Laguna or Lago

Finally getting around to providing an update of last weekend. I've even uploaded some pics and created one of those slideshow thingees that A is so fond of.
I know it's late in the game, but the trip was fun. We ran around in the Otovalo area. Took a detour on the way to our destination - Lago Cuicocha (pronounced Quicocha - like Quito) to see Laguna Mohanda.
I don't really know the difference between a lago and a laguna. One would expect a laguna to be a lagoon, and maybe it is on the coast. Up here in the mountains, though, it seems to be a little crater lake. Maybe just a little lake, period. Who knows? Personally, I think that one of the minor benefits to living in a foreign country is being clueless about things. I don't know what words mean, I don't know where things are, I don't know people, the political landscape, the sports teams or what the hell is going on in general in life, but that's okay. I'm a gringo.
The ride through Mohanda was an intersting side trip (note - yellow roads on the map are really bad). It was a chance to get some use out of the 4 wheel drive of the car - the first real consistent use of the 4x4 option since purchasing the vehicle (except for that brief river crossing with Nasser back in June). Small children could have hidden in the potholes that weren't so much interspersed across the road so much as made up the majority of the road. Earlier rains had created gullies and veritable ravines across the road, which all makes for a fun ride, until you get that little nagging voice in your head noting that a slide or wrong bounce will send the car off on a long trip down, the wife and you along with it. I think it ended up taking us about 2 and a half hours to go 20 kilometers, or something to that effect. We passed three mountain bikers on the way up (walking their bikes up the hill) and passed another group of mountain bikers resting at the actual lake -- and that was it. Talk about a lonely environment.
After checking in to our hotel, we made our way to another crater lake (this one a lago, for some reason) and proceeded to hike the 15km trail circumnavigating the crater. Even in miles, that's a long way. I don't think the pictures do it justice.
The night was spent resting my weary bones in front of a raging fire in a nearby posada. Nice place, and we had it all to ourselves. It's one of those places that causes day dreams of owning an hacienda (which would make one an hacendero) somewhere off the beaten track, spending the day watching clouds roll in, then roll on out again. I wonder if they get a decent internet connection out there?
Sunday was spent checking out a local waterfall (fun - nothing to write home about) and driving home through rain and observing, and getting stuck in traffic due to, a large number of traffic accidents. No pictures here of those - they were almost all rather gruesome looking.
This weekend, the plan is to go visit a friend of a friend's coffee farm. Then maybe head out to some other nearby haunts. Other than that, not much is going on - it's not a holiday for the locals.

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