Saturday, November 19, 2011

Out Of The Loop, On The Loop (Part III)

The night in Quilotoa was a very cold one.  Luckly, we had a wood stove in our room that warmed up the place as we went to bed.  Waking up was quite chilly, and we packed our bags to hurry out of Quilotoa.   Around 8:30, after realizing that there was no 'trail' to Tigua, the two of us set off on a 4 hour hike on the road. After an hour, though enjoying the scenery, a man in a pickup pulled up and offered us a ride to town for $.50 each. Done.  We threw our packs in the back and zoomed off, our weary feet thanking us.

Cruisin'

A short ride and bus connection later, we found ourselves at Posada De Tigua, a working dairy farm that owners Margarita and Marco have converted into a guest house.  They cook farm fresh meals where everything they serve, aside from the rice, comes off their land and they have homemade cheeses and yogurt that are to die for.  The owners were so sweet and felt like old friends, as did their two pups, Benjamin, a 3 month old St. Bernard, and Scrappy, a Chow/Shar Pei mix. It was an incredibly idyllic place to rest our bones for a day.

Posada De Tigua

Scrappy

Benjamin, floppy limbs and ears

Tigua is a very small Andean town that is well known for a specific style of painting. An artist named Julio Toaquiza started painting these very detailed and colorful pieces on old drums in the early 70's and has since taught his family and community to paint these incredible pieces. We walked to town to see some of the galleries and were lucky to meet Julio. He told us his long story of how his paintings came to be and even played the drum and flute for us (at the same time, one-man-band style). It was rockin'!! We bought a piece painted by his daughter and set off back to the posada. For the rest of the afternoon/evening, we lived it up, farm style.  We hung out with all kinds of animals (baby cows, llama, alpaca), milked a cow, and went for a llama ride.  It was hysterical. 

Baby cow, 3 days old!

Down and dirty

This is Paco.

Wahoo!

Jamie VAlpaca Grolle?

As dusk approached, we played futbol with Benjamin in the yard then had an incredible dinner prepared by Margarita. It was an exceptional day on the farm. 

Travis's offence was no match for Benjamin 

Futballer

The next day we headed back to Latacunga to rest for a night before our 9 hour bus trip to Cuenca.  The bus ride was so long, and borderline painful, but we made it safe and sound.  We were sad to leave the Central Highlands and are looking forward to another trip some day to return to them.  They are a magical and awe-inspiring place. We are now in a town called Vilcabamba, south of Loja and in a few days we'll make our way to Peru.  The closer we get, the more exciting it is to think about adventures in a new country.  For now, we will bask in our last few days in Ecuador. 

3 comments:

  1. I'm loving the tastes of that magical mountain land! Thanks for reminding me of the power of the Andes. Did the mountains entice you away from any beach time in the end? It looks like you two are having such an awesome time. Enjoy it!

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  2. JAMIE VALPACA GROLLE! I love it, and the dog has floppy limbs. Fun fun. I want to ride in the back of a truck and on the back of a llama!

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