We did an 8-mile hike from Laguna Quilatoa, a deep green lake in a volcanic crater at 12,000’, back down to the Black Sheep Inn. It required getting a bus at 3:00am to start the hike. The bus was so old it slid back at each stop because of poor brakes. It was filled with farmers taking their goods to market. We had to crawl over sacks of live chickens to get off.
The hike itself was treacherous, on poorly maintained trails and over a recent landslide. A fall would have meant disaster. The trail was poorly marked. It was a welcome relief to reach the bottom. We passed a few small villages along the way and saw families farming on hillsides with no mechanized equipment. About a mile from the end a heavy thunder storm broke out with lightning flashes too close for comfort. Never did drying off and having a hot cup of tea feel so good.