This afternoon, Patrick and I continued on from the village of Zumbahua, to the main attraction of the Quilotoa Loop area: Laguna Quilotoa. When we got to the lagoon, we admired the view from the top, and then we decided to complete the walk down into the valley (i.e. the ancient volcano crater) where the lagoon lies, and back up. It doesn't look like that big a walk — but it actually turned out to be quite a hike: took about ½ an hour to walk down, and another hour to return to the top. Beautiful place, with serenity abounding.
This evening, Patrick and I went on the popular night tour up to Tungurahua, the volcano that looms over Baños. Tungurahua was erupting last week, and we heard first-hand reports from people who'd seen lava coming out of it. Very cool! Although a bit crazy, since a large eruption is fully capable of destroying the entire town of Baños. Sadly, we didn't see any eruption tonight: but we still got a great birds-eye view of the town, lit up at night; and we had fun drinking a very strong distilled sugar-cane spirit, and watching some top-class fire-juggling up on the mountain. And a fun ride on the roof of the tourist truck, too.
This afternoon was the most relaxing part of the Salkantay hike; but it was also the most stressful so far, because we were hindered in our truck ride by a landslide, and because two groups' worth of us were piled into the back of a rickety pickup. However, we sang our way to our destination, the town of Santa Teresa, in the end. Hence, the story of the truck, the landslide, and the singing.