Sunday was our last day in Pucara, and our host brother wanted to take us to the nearby Lago Cuicocha, between Otavalo and Pucara. We caught the early bus out of Pucara and arrived at the lake before many people were there. Our host brother, Luis, told us that this lake is very popular with foreign and Ecuadorian tourists.
Right away we began to hike along the trail that leads along the rim of the crater, and the further up we went the less people there were. Alex and Luis set their sights on a hill about a quarter of the way around the lake, up high where we could better views of the surrounding area. As we hiked we could see the nearby towns of Otavalo and Cotocachi, and the surrounding volcanoes Imbabura and Pinchincha. Volcan Cotocachi is right behind the lake, but it was covered in clouds during our visit.
Up and up we went toward the hill.
“Arriba arriba,” Alex and Luis kept saying. Up up. The higher we went the more fierce the wind got. When we reached the top of the hill, we were staggering sideways in the stronger gusts of wind.