30/07 - 31/07
We arrived at the hostel with time to spare, luckily the roads were quiet at that time in the morning.
After a few photies from the viewing point, it was then time to start our descent into the crater. We started at 3900m above sea level and had to descend 280m to the lake below.
We reached the bottom and rushed towards the water's edge to find our kayaks.
We quickly found the kayaks, gave the man the money, $3 per person, hopped in and started to paddle. It was quite freezing as the wind was gliding along the surface of the water. To add to it, because we had rushed into the kayaks, we did not plan our outfits too well and now icy water was flowing down our arms and soaking through our jacket sleeves.
Our guide had told us that as this was an active volcano, you could see bubbles rising through the water from the centre of the crater. This sounded amazing so we made a mission to the middle! We only had 20mins so we had to hurry. Luckily, we had had a bit of practice and once we found our rhythm, we were on the fast track to the middle.
As we were heading back, we noticed that James who was meant to have followed us to the centre but reached us in time, was getting further and further away from us and the shore. We tried to shout to him to come back with us as our time was up but he seemed to be just going around in circles. Roxy tried to verbally give some practical paddling advice but the wind was taking him and it didn't seem to be helping. Thus, we realised we needed to turn back around and give him some assistance. He was alone in his boat and the kayak renters had put him in the front seat of a two man kayak. It is almost impossible to steer from the front in such a vessel so it was no wonder he was struggling.
Once we reached him, Roxy riskily 'jumped ship' to join James where they were able to successfully paddle back to shore. Joy was in the back seat so could easily navigate her way to safety as well. The rescue mission was a success and everyone made it out , alive!
We made it to the top and hurried into the restaurant to warm up for a little bit before we had to be on our way back to Quito.
After 30mins of defrosting, we were herded back into the bus for the 3hr journey back.
Joy was feeling a little nauseous before we left (we thought from walking so briskly at such a high altitude), but didn't think much of it at the time. However, as the trip commenced and the bus driver decided to scream around the corners like a madman once again, her condition became increasingly worse. Roxy fed her some homeopathic pills and fanned her with a book but by the time we arrived back at the hostel, Joy was dying and had to run out of the bus to the bathroom...
She was feeling extremely fragile but we still had to catch the Trole back to Daniel's house. We said goodbye to our group but promised to stay in touch. We first decided to have dinner with James and let Joy settle her stomach before facing the journey ahead.
To Joy, the 45min Trole trip felt like an eternity and each new waft of train smells, churned her stomach even further. By some miracle, we made it back to Daniel's house and Joy collapsed onto the bed. Daniel had some friends over and could see that we were exhausted and of course he was completely understanding when we excused ourselves and headed to bed.
Joy was still dying in the morning. It was not just a bit of altitude sickness or over exertion as we had previously thought, she had definitely caught a bout of food poisoning from the lunch at Quilotoa the day before - just an unlucky chicken piece! Fortunately, we did not have anything planned for the day so she could just sleep and run to the loo when needed.
Roxy decided to treat Daniel to a French toast breakfast. She ran off to the little corner shop to purchase all the complex ingredients.
Daniel had never had this kind of breakfast so Rox gave him a step by step tutorial - perhaps he could even make it to impress his girlfriend, Karlha, one day!