Ecuador Archive

p.s. final thought for Ecuador

just as a postscript to my post below, this country is ace but Ecuadorian cities have a bit of a bad rap for crime, I was reading one of the national papers over lunch and there was a piece about how the police are trying to improve the security situation down in Guayaquil, which has a pretty bad rap. The figures were about double I think from what I remember of some of the worst US …

Lagunas, montañas y perros!

ah, where do I start…. I left you a few days ago in laid-back Latacunga (ace town, my favourite in Ecuador I think) so I guess it makes sense to start the day after…. On the road to Zumbahua…. I felt reasonable that morning as I pedalled across the bridge out of town heading west with Laguna Quilotoa in my sights… The only fly in my bike flavoured ointment being the climb to get over the western cordillera …

oh bollocks…

Bollocks, such a useful and versatile word… it rolls so nicely off the tongue in it’s well-rounded way, you can talk bollocks (as I frequently seem to do…), something can be a load of bollocks, or you can simply say “bollocks” when things don’t go quite your way…. It’s the latter situation that applies in this case… having got up this morning with a bit of fever, a few aches and feeling devastatingly tired… I …

struggling to think of a title for this one…

OK, I don’t have much new to show you so maybe it’s time you had a laugh at my expense rather than reading about how much fun I’m having…. so then, a truly ugly pair of legs (mine)… I was in two minds whether to even show you this as you may be reading this while eating your dinner or something… but anyway particularly for my non-cycling friends and readers, here’s what 20-odd years of …

Over Chimborazo….

I think I rambled on somewhere in my posts below about the intensity of experience when exploring a country by bike…. yesterday was a pretty intense day… everything good about riding in high mountains (and the bad bits like sore legs…). So today I am in Guaranda having a day off… “estoy muy cansado hoy” as they say hereabouts… I needed 13hrs in bed last night after a good feed and I’m still feeling it …

going off(on) the rails….

“The Plan” this morning during my stay in Riobamba was to ride the 50km round trip to Cajabamba and Laguna Colta (which is supposed to be rather pretty), ideal I thought for an easy day to loosen the legs after the last 2 days of climbing….. but as is so often the way I ended up doing something completely different that turned out completely brilliantly :o) About 20km outside of Riobamba enroute to Cajabamba, near …

Riobamba…

OK, so Im here resting my legs with a coffee… after yesterday’s climb (see below) and having now experienced the road from Ambato I’m glad I didn’t press on all the way to Riobamba yesterday… I totally underestimated the climbing, there was me thinking it would be a relatively easy 60km cruise down to Riobamba…. It wasn’t… The road climbed to just under 4000m on the eastern slopes of Chimborazo, it was a bit of …

uphill all the way….

It became a bit of a standing joke really amongst my friends… my seeming inability to actually leave Baños despite having the bike packed and the best of intentions each night to leave next day…. it just happens that way sometimes but the reality is that all my attempts to leave were sabotaged…. On Monday morning it was the appearance of a Swiss nut guy who detained me for a few hours over coffee until all motivation …

´stuck´in Baños…

well I never expected to still be here but that´s just the way of it sometimes… you know, you meet some nice people, you get talking, share beers and dinner and all of a sudden it get´s harder to move on… so I guess I am ´stuck´but in a nice way. Very much exercising the right of the independent cyclist to do absolutely bugger all whenever I like :o)  The bike was all packed and …

blissed in Baños…

I´m not sure where to start really, or even if I have the energy having spent a thoroughly agreeable {oh, ok, it was muy fantastico…} morning being oiled and rubbed, pulled and pushed and so on by a very nice latina girl… I so needed it…. (the massage that is). I told her I was a cyclist so she gave my lower half a darn good going over before moving onto the rest of me. …

a small change of plan :o)

OK, so I´m still in Latacunga and the usual afternoon thunderstorm is just about to break outside. I was all set at 6.30 am this morning to head on down to Baños on my bike when, while having a coffee, the owner of the pink palace (it´s not really, it´s called Hotel Tilipulo) reminded me that Thursday is market day in the nearby village of Saquisili… it´s famous through Ecuador apparently for the size and …

leaving Quito etc etc

OK, where to start… I have about an hour I suppose before I really need to go and find something interesting to eat… Right now I´m in a friendly little town called Latacunga, south of Quito… more on that in a minute however as the past couple of days have been quite fun…. Monday then…. got on my bike at 7.30am but the traffic was already horrendous, was a little nerve wracking navigating my way …

a 14″ banana and other stuff

hey look at this… OK it´s not really a banana, it´s a plantain but flippin´heck if it was a banana it would be a cyclists wet dream, in my case that is from an eating point of view but depending on what you’re like you may have other things in mind… i won´t go there. Big isn´t it…… OK, other stuff… i’m still feeling thoroughly wasted today. Yesterday I was running on adrenalin, today I just have the combination …

Hola from Quito…

gawd what an arse of a journey…. I finally got to the hostal here in Quito about 8pm last night dead on my feet, right now it´s about midday local time and I still feel like dogpoo. On the bright side it´s about 26 degs and sunny here :o)  so the journey then…. well 5hrs drive to stay with a good friend near Heathrow, 3hrs kip and then getting up at 2.30am to get to Heathrow …