Visit Mario’s Page http://caminandotheworld.wordpress.com/ and learn more about his travels around the world (Spanish).
Our route led us to Latacunga. There have been celebrations and we stayed in an incredible farmhouse with loads of other travellers.
From there we did two excursions. The first one was to the Volcano “Cotopaxi”. To arrive there we took a bus to the entrance of the national park. From the entrance you drop off and you stop a pick-up to ask the driver to bring you up to the entrance of the volcano area. From there it is actually obligatory to register and to hire a guide, but you can ask the pick-up driver to sneak through with a little detour.
At the volcano we walked up to the first base camp. You will notice the altitude. When we were near the base we saw condors flying. The energy you will feel at this place is very strong.
The second excursion lead us to the Quilotoa Lake, another volcano with a crater full of water. It is just lovely!
From Latacunga go to Zumbagua which is an authentic indigenous village. There you can hire a pick-up which will bring you to the lagoon. At the lagoon there is a path that leads down. To get back you would take the same way.
Almost all routes in the countryside can be managed by hitchhiking. This is a very easy and common practice in Ecuador.