Say hello to latacunga a small village a few hours out south of Quito although it did take at least an hour to get out of Quito it was so big!!! We loved latacunga as we found cable TV woop woop it only had MTV but that was enough and compensated for no pubs in the area and no WI FI as you guys know we always like to be up to facebook, not like any of you reply anyhow!!! (apart from a small few - you know who you are..love ya)
Latacunga has an amazing local market which we had the chance to experience and it was mind blowing, the market was in a small town of Saqiusili, and we now fully understand where pigs on blankets come from, their animal market we got to experience locals carrying piglets in sacks!! Sheep being carried by local - piggyback I have to add, cows' lamas, horses, sheep's, being dragged in and every way, animals refusing to move as they knew what was coming, chickens under one foot and guinea pigs under another!! We could have brought a piglet for $26 bargain but I don't think we could have carried home with us!! other markets they had puppies, kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks, chickens, vegs, fruit, spanners, ropes, anything and everything you could possible imagine!
Cotopaxi is the mountain that latacunga has to offer it reaches over 5000m, we were fortunate to be driven to 4000m and then had to walk up to the next point where lunch was being served! It was only 200 metres but it felt like a marathon, fortunately for me I had no problem with attitude sickness until I stopped walking and the dizziness kicked in so carried on walking at a snail's pace otherwise my lungs would let me know!! Nic on the other hand discovered that smoker's lungs and the mountain weren't getting on as well but slowly and strongly she made it up!!after re fuelling we tackled another couple of hundred metres, we had to reach the snow to throw some snow balls, it would have been amazing to have gone all the way to the top, but that would have meant a two day trek and going into too many dollar for us to spend!!
It always amazes me that something so simplistic as snow on a mountain could be so tranquil and beautiful and yet could be potentially dangerous at the same time, as our guide informed as while on the mountain about the avalanches that occurred there not very long ago either..great something I guess he forgotten to tell us before we went walking on a potentially death trap, but then what isn't now a days !! Now I would be under the impression that the descent would have been easier I was wrong, it was harder on my joints and muscles and then I had the bright idea of mountain biking down the rest of the mountain. Nic was going to follow until she realised that she hadn´t ridden a bike in a very long time and forgotten how to ride!! Even though it was all downhill, I think it was the sharp turns, quick descent and the cliff drops that put her off!! As I peddle off I got the full blast of altitude sickness as I descended too quickly and developed a headache from hell, never experienced anything in my life before, considering if was a bumpy road as well, the last few metres before I had to stop felt like someone had a automatic drill inside my skull!! To make it worse the journey back in the car wasn't exactly smooth either!!! Our guide didn't have such a fun journey back, as Nic had passed out in the back and I was squinting every time we hit a pot hole!!
Latacunga was a town with a little gem of Cotopaxi, with its quiet nature; it's a perfect way to relax that is if you like being woken u every morning with a high pitch scream at five am then every half until 6:30 the church bells would go off!! As you can imagine I welcomes this with open arms.