The past two days we have ridden in the Andes, moving south in central Ecuador. When we left Quito, I thought we were going to head directly to the border with Peru, but Robert wanted to ride in the Andes and also had two great places he wanted to visit. Last night we spent the night in Cuenca, Ecuador, a city of over 100,000 people. It was very nice with good restaurants and a great ice cream bar. We stayed the night in the Gran Hotel, which I recommend. A private room, with bath and hot water for only $16. The managers insisted that we bring our bikes into the lobby so they would be safe and dry.
It has been very rough riding the past two days. High in the Andes on rock and mud roads. At times it scares the heck out of me. I doubt I cross into Peru for a couple of more days. I I find it hard to ride over 130 miles a day on these roads. Apparently massive mud slides totally wiped out miles and miles of the paved roads and often we are on one lane, very slick and rough mud and rock roads at an altitude up to 12,000 feet.
We are in Vilcabamba, Equador tonight,a very beautiful valley in the Andes. I find Ecuador to be a most beautiful and interesting country. Before this trip, I knew only that Panama hats came from Ecuador. Now I know it is the most beautiful country in which I have visited. Extradordinary landscape, from the Andes to the beaches, with the most friendly and helpful people I know. Ecuador is truly a hidden gem for travelers. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for adventure, beauty and great food
I have decided to rest tomorrow (I think it is Sunday). Monday, I will be up early headed to Peru. I am anxious to get to Lima to see if I can find tires and brake shoes for my bike.
I do have a lot of photographs that I would like to share with you but I am having problems with the tool I use to transfer them to Jacob. Maybe we can get it working in a few days but for now, I cannot transfer the photos.