Quilo-whoa

Technically, my trip to Laguna Quilotoa was only just over a week ago, on Sunday 8th November. But what a lot I have been up to in the nine days since! A whirlwind of meeting friends, fieldwork, geochemistry, the panorama of an erupting volcano, eight sodding hours in a bus terminal, and an absquatulation to the Ecuadorian coast; all have left me quite exhausted. I was able to do a fair amount of writing during my time at the coast, and I think my efforts paid off; I’ve created some decent drawings and a blog post that I’m quite proud of (just to blow my own trumpet). More on that post on Friday!

Unfortunately, as I was committing the beach post to online memory, I came across this scrap piece of paper: a half-complete essay about Quilotoa languishing, unloved, in the messy filing cabinet that crouches behind my blogging platform. I think it is difficult to find a balance between writing a travel blog and doing; if I spend as much time as I would like on reworking my words, I’d be too preoccupied to do the things that deserve writing about; and yet right now I’m facing the other side of the looking-glass, where I haven’t written enough. The sensations which seemed so strong nine days ago now squat dull and sullen on my screen.

Oh well! Such is life. It can’t be all bad, having too much adventure to find the time to write about it; and yet I’d like to take this as a precautionary tale, because I think that writing or sketching while travelling helps me to remember the journey; and there’s also that unique joy you get, on discovering a travel journal you kept years ago, and finding your best memories still preserved, and your younger self still laughable.

For now, here’s a simple slideshow of the day I had. The photographs seem to have kept better than my words, this time.

Erupting plume of water vapour from Volcan Cotopaxi, 6am on Sunday 8th November.
The unbelievably beautiful, long and winding road west towards Sigchos.
These are the Illinizas
; Illiniza Sur is to the right of the photograph. About 8am.
In front of a ruined hut by the side of the lake. I haven’t fiddled with the colours; this is actually what it looks like.
Still no colour manipulation. The lake changes shade throughout the day; right now, it’s 12pm,
and we’re at the eastern rim of the crater.
Lost a camera battery down the slopes, and went to retrieve it, of course.
I feel like this would be the perfect place to introduce cheese-rolling as an international sport. 
Ripples on the water at the lake’s edge. There’s approximately 400 metres’ difference in height between here
and the previous picture. Excellent spot for skinny dipping, this.
The Illinizas again; this time, Illiniza Norte is on the right. Impressive, no?

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