We took a taxi from our hotel in Otavalo up into the mountains to the little hamlet of Agato with our friends, Jo and Louise. We had the most delightful visit with Miguel Andrango, one of the best weavers in Ecuador. After we said our goodbyes to Miguel, we walked a few meters down the road and confusion set in. Which road should we follow? We had planned to walk back to Otavalo, taking the “scenic route”, but the directions were rather vague. Our confidence that we’d figure it out hadn’t lasted long.
Fortunately, a few local people walked by, and they kindly motioned for us to follow the narrow, rough road.
Within minutes the scenery was so beautiful that it hardly mattered whether we were on the right road or not.
Joe was first to come to a cross road with a sign confirming that we were, indeed, on the path we had intended to take.
This road descended through a forest filled with wildflowers.
We suddenly heard a waterfall below us, and, through the trees, we could see the water cascading down, but the falls were far below us. The distance was so great that we could barely make out little people scrambling up a path at the waterfall’s base. How could we find a path down to see the waterfall up close?
It wasn’t until we had descended the hill, far below the falls, that we discovered the path back up to a good look-out spot. The Peguche Falls are 18 meters (50’). The drop is more impressive in person since it’s much higher than it appears, and the water was coming down with a lot of force. If you spot the person on the dirt path at the lower right, it will put the height in perspective.
After a long morning we were ready for something to eat. Fortunately for us, there was a little café in the park. We sat on wooden stools and watched as the cooks ladled out traditional quinoa soup into bowls for us.
Further down the road, local dogs barely acknowledged us as we passed by.
Again, we weren’t certain we were on the right path back to town until we saw the greeting in huge bright colors, “Otavalo”! Almost home.