A journey through the Galapagos, a journey through time.

“Nothing gets lost, nothing gets created, everything transforms” – Lavoisier

Galapagos. A mysterious and desolate archipelago, which holds the answers to the past and future. A place I have only dreamed about for as long as I remember and which I have been so god damn lucky to finally visit. When my brother called me and told me ‘get ready we are going to the Galapagos’ I couldn’t believe, I just couldn’t. A place I only heard about in books and documentaries now becoming my reality. Hell yeah..

Since it’s creation in 1968, the Galapagos National Park has been considered by UNESCO one of the jewels of the planet. The archipelago is made up of 19 islands and 42 islets. San Cristobal, the easternmost island of the Galapagos group lies about 1,100 kilometres west of the mother country, Ecuador, on the South American mainland. Isabela, the largest island, has an area of 4600 kilometres followed by Santa Cruz, the most central and developed one. The islands are purely oceanic, which means that they have never been connected to the mainland. Read more “A journey through the Galapagos, a journey through time.”

Intag, the paradise close to my heart.

15259543_1178406408874205_2941753088744526896_o

I have always dreamed about hidden, mystical places, about beautiful deserted landscapes where I can feel at peace with myself. You got it, I have a difficult time feeling at peace with myself.You know,too many cars, too many people, too many thoughts, too much noise and all that stuff. I was desperately looking for an escape this weekend, dreaming of off and away, dying of being inside the nature. My spirit was calling me.I wanted some time alone with my thoughts, to watch the world turn and jot down my thoughts around a campfire. Instead of clearing my head, I ended up filling it. Filling it with beautiful memories of beautiful people and nature, and a reinvigorated appreciation for the world I am part of.

I suddenly remembered hearing one guy talking to someone in a coffee place about a place called Intag, which he described as “spectacular”. I turned on my research superpowers in trying to find out more about this place. 5 minutes later, I had my room booked at a hotel named Pacheco Farmhouse. I suddenly packed my stuff, having in mind the essentials: my repellent, sunglasses, raincoat, camera and I was ready to go! I jumped on a bus from Cotacachi to Otavalo ( 30’ drive, 0.35$)  where I got off and bought my ticket for the next bus ride – Otavalo to Intag. I literally had no idea how to get to the hotel I just booked but what I can say after this experience is that you got to follow your gut, that’s the best Gps that you can have. I have decided to get off at a place called “Las Piscinas de Nangulvi”, the place for which Intag is basically known for. I haven’t mentioned the magnificent bus ride from Otavalo to Intag. The journey takes around 2 hours and it costs 2,75$. Read more “Intag, the paradise close to my heart.”

Casa Aida – The legend of a living legend – Aida Butron.

casa-aida

It’s Saturday morning and I decide to go with my friend Art to visit Casa Aida, a place which he warmly described as ‘a very special place’. We take the bus from Cotacachi to Ibarra and then walk to a different terminal in Ibarra to catch the bus direction La Esperanza. The whole journey doesn’t take more than 1h and I am happy to go and discover such special place. We get off the bus right in front of Casa Aida and we step in to look for Señora Aida and her nephew – Jose. Jose is a certified trekking guide who would be happy to take you to one of the hikes around. The most famous hike that you can do is the Imbabura volcano, an inactive volcano situated at an altitude of 4.600m, hike which can be done in around 8 to 9 hours, depending on the weather conditions and the hiker’s physical condition. Read more “Casa Aida – The legend of a living legend – Aida Butron.”

Cuicocha / Lake of the gods.

14753679_1132698223445024_9046524729149751340_o

History.

The volcano Cuicocha is part of Ecuador’s western Andean volcanic cordillera, together with some 16 other active volcanoes. It represents today the fourth most dangerous active volcano in Ecuador after Chalupas, Pululahua and Quilotoa, but before Cotopaxi. The volcano can reactivate at any time. Therefore it appears that tourists are visiting the volcanic caldera of Cuicocha to enjoy the extremely beautiful area in the same way a bird is stepping into a crocodile’s mouth. Scary huh?? Enough with the tension, let’s dive into the unknown!

How to get there.

Cuicocha Lagoon is located 110km from Ecuador’s capital Quito and some 25km northwest of Otavalo, in the province of Imbabura. There are several ways to get there, depending on where you come from. If you are travelling from Quito then the best way is to take a bus from the Northern Terminal in Quito, direction Otavalo. The journey takes around 2 hours and it costs 2$. From Otavalo there is a bus going to Quiroga which is the closest village to the Lagoon. The journey shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes and it costs 0,35$. From there unfortunately there is no other option than taking a private “camioneta” or a taxi which costs around 5-6$. Read more “Cuicocha / Lake of the gods.”