Since our last post, we’ve been cycling through the mountains from Popayan, Colombia to Quito, Ecuador. It has been a land of extremes; high peaks separated by deep river valleys. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed it so far, although we’ve noticed that our riding days are establishing a bit of a routine …
1. Sleep well, bundled up in a cold room between 2500m and 2900m elevation.
2. Wake up and eat breakfast in bed.
3. Climb 500m to 700m to a pass between 3000m and 3300m. The weather here is usually about 10 degrees with misty rain.
Jenn cresting a 3100m pass near Otavalo during a sunny break.
4. Descend, descend, descend into a hot valley. The temperature rises to between 25C and 35C. The hottest we measured was 37C!
Jenn and Lydie zooming down from Popayan, Colombia.
5. Lunch at a restaurant for about $2.
Dave demonstrating how not to use a salt shaker.
6. Climb, climb, climb between 800m and 2000m to the next town.
Jenn starting a 2000m climb towards Pasto, Colombia.
7. Roll into town smiling and exhausted.
Cruising into El Bordo at the end of the day with Eric and Lydie.
8. Stuff our faces to replace some of the calories.
Colombians know their ice cream.
9. Sleep well again, bundled up in a cold room.
But before you think we’re falling into a rut, here are some of the things that have kept it interesting:
Meeting other cyclists. Left are Yoko and Hiro from Japan, who have been travelling the world for three and a half years! Right is what happens when you let five cyclists with three tents sleep at your roadside restaurant.
Swapping out our road bike “granny gears”
for “Andes gears”. We’re now riding with
22-34 … and can comfortably spin at 7km/hr!
Looking at the beautiful views.
Visiting the dramatic Santuario de
Las Lajas near Ipiales, Colombia.
Crossing into Ecuador.
Spending time at the famous artisan market
in Otavalo, Ecuador (she was all business
for the picture).
And reaching the Equator!
Now we are bundled up at 2850m in Quito, Ecuador, where we will spend some time taking in the city and the surrounding mountains.