[Bicycle Diaries] My (Amazing!) time in Ecuador
Wow, don't even know how to present and describe my trip through Ecuador...I have seen so much beauty, in its many different forms...My time here was so special that is even difficult for me to try to put into words everything I was fortunate to see and experience...
My adventure began with an incredible ride through gorgeous paramos, as I rode from Tulcan to Angel via the Reserva Ecologica El Angel. For hours, I was all alone with that amazing, seemingly endless sea of paramos. No other people, no tiendas, nothing.
It was incredible. And on the top of that, a night at a cozy cabana from the El Angel park rangers.
Then, the next highlight was Otavalo and its beautiful people and colorful markets. I loved it there. The food, the people and its traditional clothes...also, I must mention the impressive Mojanda Lakes, a ride that was very hard for me since I was sick on that day, but it was well worth it.
Moving forward, after a few days in Quito (to be honest, I am not a big fan of big cities), I made my way to the charming Machachi, from where I started my way up to Cotopaxi, this volcano that is just so stunning that you can't find adjectives to make it justice.
It was again a very hard ride, all uphill and against a relentless wind, but the scenery was just beyond words...I crossed the park and then spent the night at its south entrance, as it is currently forbidden to camp inside the park since the volcano has been showing lots of activities over the last months.
After that, time to explore the Quilotoa area. I rode towards Isinlivi, and when I was about 30km away, Pedro and his wife Magyta stopped their car and offered me a ride! They were also going there, to visit his mother. Of course I said yes :) And it was awesome! We chatted a lot, and then Pedro even offered me to have dinner with them and send the night at his mother's place! It was very special.
Next morning, after some great breakfast, I left towards Chugchilan, and it was another amazing ride through canyons, farms and rivers. I arrived there right on time to see a street theater presentation, and then had some great dinner before having a very much deserved night of rest.
The next day, I left for Quilotoa lake, another incredible place, and from there I rode about 70km all the way to Pujili, where I spent the night. The next day, Ambato, where I was hosted by Sr. Fausto, father of an Ecuatorian-Brazilian guy I met in Pasto, and who is also traveling by bike.
I was feeling a bit sick when I got there, so I took it easy and just got some rest before leaving for Banos, where I stayed for about 3 days.
Then, the destination was Puyo, passing by the incredible "Pailon del Diablo" waterfall. After Puyo, a short visit to the Amazon, through the village of Canelos, before arriving in Macas. From there, back to the Andes, to Cuenca, one of my very favorite places of my whole trip so far! What a beautiful city! I do hope I will have the chance to go back there soon, with more time!
Next, I left to Loja, and from there to the border town of Macara, from where I'm writing this post. I was almost getting here when Mario, from the Peruvian army, stopped his car and offered me a ride. Again I said yes. And it was great to hear his stories, and then have a goodbye beer with him once we got to Macara.
For more words, pictures and stories about my time in Ecuador, please visit my Facebook and my Instagram. I have been posting quite often there :) It is easier with me because I can do it with phone, so they have become pretty much my diary journal from this trip! Follow me there if you haven't done it yet!
Ecuador is an absolutely beautiful country and I will only carry with me great, very special memories from my time there. I hope I will have the chance to come back one day and see places such as the Chimborazo and Cajas National Park.
We can never see it all, and I think it is always good to have a reason to come back to certain places.
Now it is time to explore Peru, the country I was probably looking forward to the most before I started my trip. I can't wait to explore and discover its places, people, culture and stories.
And please feel free to click here to buy your postcard and help me finish my journey! :)
I hope I will be able to be back here soon! Let's see what Peru is reserving for me!
Macara, Ecuador, May 8th, 2016