Saturday, 31 August 2013

30/08/2013 Day off Huanchaco
The fishing boats in the back ground are called cabalitos (little horses)They are made from reeds and were depicted on Mochica pottery ( which we saw in the museum in Lambayeque). Apparently they ride the breakers like surf boards.

We have been utterly lazy today and thoroughly enjoyed it! It's out of season in Huanchaco so it is not very busy, ( as predicted there was quite a lot of cloud all day and I think we were lucky yesterday when we first arrived and found it lovely and sunny). Most of the tourists are South American with a handful of others and it definitely has a holiday feel about it. We managed a few little walks on the beach and a few forays out to restaurants to stock upon calories. Tomorrow we are starting with a 95km ride on the coast before we turn left off the Pan American climbing on ripio for another 20 kms and then have to find a wild camping spot . It'll be nice to start climbing into the Andes again , but I'm sure we'll curse it too. From all accounts Canon del Plato ( Cordillera Blanca) should be beautiful and peace should return after the busy traffic days on the flat coastal roads. The prospect of slowly climbing from sea level to a pass at 4800 m ( the height of Mont Blanc! ) is more than a bit daunting though. We have been scouring google earth to see if we can find any little towns where we might be able to find food and water along the way. Shame they haven't found a ready available alternative to water to carry with you. Fluid is just so heavy to carry. Temperatures should be between 20 and 25 degrees during the day (lovely) down to freezing at night (not so lovely) Don't think we are going to get a lot of internet access over the next few days so I'll have to keep you in suspense until the next opportunity!

Friday, 30 August 2013

29/08/13 Stage 16 Pacasmayo-Huanchaco

29/08/13 Stage 16 Pacasmayo-Huanchaco

Untitled by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

rubbish doesn't decompose quickly in the desert!
Another relatively easy day (110 km) on more or less flat terrain. Once we had left town we were quickly back cycling through desert which was interspersed with sugar cane plantations. Not sure where the water comes from? Our guide book seems to suggest that water gets brought in from the Amazon Basin. If there is water it doesn't appear to be scarce and people use it freely. The problem is that it only seems to be available in the towns. Some of the dwellings along the road look very miserable places to live in with no running water or electricity. Just adobe or cane walls with corrugated iron sheets for a roof. Sometimes the road sides are real dumps. It seems to be a kind of no-man’s land and not cared for at all. In contrast most towns are kept really well with lovely squares and parks. The rubbish is collected and the streets are clean. There seem to be just as many mobile phone shops as in the UK as well and little corner shops with the same things for sale. The fluorescent yellow Inca Cola made from lemon grass is a firm favourite. Apparently it is more popular than Coca cola so it has been bought out by Coca Cola!

View from our balcony.

Beer with a view!

Heaven in the shape of ceviche
 We found a lovely hostal with sea views and made the most of it with yet another ceviche and a large beer. For the first time in the trip the waiter spoke English! We realised that there a quite a tourists about probably here for the surf. It all feels very relaxed and like a holiday resort so tomorrow is another rest day.

Lambayeque Pacasmayo

28/08/13 Stage 15 Lambayeque - Pacasmayo

Untitled by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details First bit

Untitled by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details Second bit

The different faces of Pacasmayo !

Getting out of Lambayeque was straightforward and I had presumed it was just one straight road all the way to destination and so hadn't done the route on my phone .. Idiot . Chiclayo is massive and it was only when we were in the middle of another traffic mayhem and lost that I decided to use the map on the phone . Nonetheless once switched on it guided us out of town and on our way .
The sea breeze develops fairly predictably through the day and steadily strengthens , inevitably being a headwind , so you have to make progress as soon as you can . The cycling was essentially flat and through desert territory again . Unfortunately in the latter half of the ride there weren't pit stops to be found and by the time we reached Pacasmayo we were once again feeling a bit cold sweaty/light headed from having no fuel in the tank . When will we learn ?
Unbeknown to us Pacasmayo is a windsurfing paradise with strong predictable port tack winds and a perfect wave breaking around the lighthouse . We only saw the tail end of it but we had coincided with the South American windsurfing championships . Great to watch but definitely a moment to be jealous .
As is often the case we were fearful there would only be one or two hotels if we were lucky and in reality there were dozens ,ours was lovely but perhaps we should have tried one of the beach front alternatives . Probably too pricey .

Unfortunately our Spanish is good when speaking to people who try to listen and speak slowly but when with the locals who take no prisoners we still struggle, but I  fear to think what it would be like without being able to speak any Spanish at all.
No picture of the journey because we  forgot to put the  card back in camera and didn't realise. Some pictures of Pacasmayo though. Quite a contrast .

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

27/08/13 Rest day in Lambayeque

It hadn't been the intention but after another night of WC activity I needed to recuperate and so we decided to take the day off to explore the town .
We were recommended to visit the market and boarded one of the many hundreds of mototaxis They had been a menace to us whilst on the bikes so it was good to be inside one for a change. For the princely sum of 25p we were driven through the streets frequently on the wrong side of the road narrowly avoiding head on collisions with people, lorries , animals and pedestrians .
The markets are always fascinating with people trying to sell a hat-full of corn or rows of fish and meat open to the elements without refrigeration but with flies etc, and of course loads of stalls from which to choose what you wanted to eat . I needed to be very sensible in choice of food . In for a penny in for a pound , so it had to be Cheviche, raw fish marinated in lime juice and chillies. Lovely and no aftermath .
We subsequently spent a couple of hours looking around the local museum. It was all enclosed and allowed you to descend through the various strati and view the treasures and human remains very much like the Pharaohs were buried in the pyramids,. It was much more fascinating than anticipated. Incredible to think this in many ways very advanced culture disappeared again. Where will Europe be in 2000 years. Never mind North America!

Back on the bikes tomorrow and should reach the coast.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

26/08/13 Stage 14 Motupe - Lambayeque

26/08/13 Stage 14 Motupe - Lambayeque by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

Luckily today was the easiest day riding so far (very flat and only 70 km) because Malcolm was feeling decidedly unwell. It wasn't the best of rides either. It was very busy and the hard shoulder was very bumpy and kept disappearing. The scenery was depressing, the roadsides filthy in places, it was noisy and dusty and the headwind became stronger and stronger. When we first arrived in Lambayeque it looked a depressing place but as so often before the centres are often surprisingly nice with well kept parks and squares. It does make you wonder about the difference in the standards of living though.

25/08/13 Stage 13 Chulucanas - Motupe by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

25/08/13 Stage 13 Chulucana- Motupe
25/08/13 Stage 13 Chulucanas - Motupe by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

Straight flat roads So very different
Today we cycled almost 150 km. Yet I wasn't tired because the road was flat and I was slipstreaming behind Malcolm all the way and it also helped that there was some cloud cover to keep temperatures down. We were crossing desert and we had been told there were very few places to stop and get food and drink so just to be on the safe side we were on our third meal by half past 11! As it happened there were enough places all along the way to top up on drink. Most houses are very simple structures The better ones have adobe walls some lesser ones seem to be constructed of bamboo canes cut in half. Most seem to have electricity and there are quite a few satellite dishes about. There seem to be dividing walls but doors are usually missing and there might be a sheet draped across the door way. Running water seems more of a scarcity though never mind plumbing. When I asked for the toilets in one place where we ate I was directed to a hole in the ground in the yard covered by some wooden planks. The things you take for granted! I wonder if all of Peru is like this or if this is just a very deprived area. We had overcooked it again as it was getting dark when we approached Motupe and we still had to buy some essentials[ beer ] and then sneak in somewhere and pitch the tent . When we finally arrived in Motupe we found a very lively town and much against expectations there was more than one hostal to choose from so I didn't have to camp with the lizards or whatever that creature was. I saw scurrying across the road the other day. A double room with en suite bathroom cost us £6.- Sadly Malc spend more time in the bathroom than in bed with a serious case of food poisoning. Whether it was reheated rice, chicken, bad water, ice cream we are never going to know.

 Mostly this is what showers look like. It is good news because you usually get a trickle of lukewarm water but it is also very worrying to see bare wires. You don't splash about too much with one of these over your head!

Monday, 26 August 2013

24/08/13 Stage 12 Macara - Chulucanas

24/08/13 Stage 12 Macara - Chulucanas by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

24/08/13 Stage 12 Macara – Chulucanas
Today we crossed the border into Peru without much hassle. The border guard response was Man United on realising Malc was British and Amsterdam is beautiful nice coffee shops! There are very few cars on the road now (mostly very old models you no longer see in the UK) but hundreds of moto taxi's. These three wheeled contraptions buzz about everywhere. We received endless 'hey gringo' shouts they felt more of a welcome than abusive. The Peruvian people seem a lot less reserved than the Ecuadorian folk and are very keen to chat. We are so grateful we speak some Spanish because very few folk out here speak English. There seems to be a bit more variety in the food. Had pickled raw fish with onions and lime juice for lunch. Delicious after all the greasy fare we have been eating. Vegetarian cyclist would have a very hard job finding enough calories in the food that is readily available here and it would be very monotonous. The road was more or less level today and it was odd to be cycling at about  18 km per hour. It was just as well we were moving a bit faster because temperatures reached 40 degrees and it would have been murderous to climb slowly in this heat.
  The headwind increased in the afternoon but luckily Malc did all the work up front and I could slip stream behind him. 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

23/08/2013 Stage 11 Catacocha - Macara

Untitled by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
23/08/13 Stage 11 Catacocha to Macara

Leaving Macara we had expected our first extensive section of ripio [ rough gravelly road surface ] but were pleasantly surprised to find that since last year it has all been upgraded and tarmacked . From beginning to end the day was essentially downhill overall but still included 1400m of climbing without any cloud cover . The one big climb of 700m was a very sweaty event but culminated in a lovely rolling ride on the mountain top before beginning the long descent all the way to Macara . It's always nice to finish the day with an easy section .
This 2'  little beauty ran across the road in front of Marjet .Lots of shrieking and slamming of brakes .
Ho Ho
Tuna /mayo in the shade a very welcome lunch 
The scenery has changed once again and was more lush with palm trees and banana plants in abundance . We met another traveller at the summit before our descent who was carrying huge amounts of luggage and who had been on the road for 9 months . He had started at the southern tip of Argentina and was heading north and might go to Alaska . He had no particular place to aim for that day and was clearly more chilled out than we were in terms of his agenda . Have tent , feeling tired , I'll sleep here , was his philosophy . I couldn't help thinking that he was likely to reach goal and then ust turn around again and do it all in reverse .
Every day is beginning to have a similar end with the constant need to rehydrate . Always with copious amounts of beer . It's almost frightening how much fluid goes in at the end of the day to catch up with what's been lost .

Last day in Ecuador and felt we should get some Peruvian money . All the locals said the same thing , go to the park and look for a man with a briefcase. We did and converted some dollars into Peruvian Sol but it felt all bit wrong . Having said that all the locals were doing the same thing . The locals were mainly changing Sol to US dollars . Shame we all didn't have the sense/nerve to deal directly with each other and cut out the middlemen . Nonetheless we had our money and felt more secure about entering Peru tomorrow .

Friday, 23 August 2013

22/08/13 Stage 10 Loja-Catacoche

22/0813 Stage 10 Loja - Catacoche
22/08/13 Stage 10 Loja-Catacoche first part by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
22/08/13 Stage 10 Loja - Catacocha part 2 by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
The first split of part 2 is the ride in the car . We didn't suddenly develop superlegs!
typical view today 

Climbing out of Loja 
After a 600 m ascent on unpaved road which was in places too steep and too rough to cycle we climbed out to stunning views.
What an amazing day we have had .The scenery was just awe inspiring. It felt a privilege to be cycling surrounded by such unspoiled beauty and it just kept on coming mile after mile. After a few days of heavy cloud cover and some drizzle, today the sky was blue and the sun shone all day. We also dropped quite a bit in height which made it even hotter so we decided to flag down a caminetta (pick up truck) who took us up the next hill. Part of me feels that it is cheating. I don't think I have ever taken a lift before but it would have taken us at least 3 hours climbing in the midday heat with a late finish. Instead we enjoyed every minute of today cycling for miles along the spine of the mountain with massive drops an both sides .Along the ridge the wind was incredibly strong and completely unpredictable and overhead there were huge condor like birds taking advantage of the strong thermals .We arrived early in Catacocha with time to spare to wander around and not feel utterly exhausted. We always said that we wanted to have a good time and this way we did. Found a room in the poshest and cheapest hotel to date. Tomorrow a long day to the border town of Macara and then that will be our last day of cycling in Ecuador.

21/08/13 Day of enjoying Loja
When we arrived in Loja yesterday, the main road was closed to all traffic except pedestrians and us. We soon realised there was something major going on. The streets where completely blocked and there was a big festival atmosphere. Food stalls everywhere. Street performers, More candy floss than you could possibly imagine. It was the festival of ' La Reigna del Cisne and thousands of Ecuadorians had flogged to the town of Loja to celebrate. It was a pilgrimage of 74 ks over three days from El Cisne to Loja which culminated in front of the church with an open air mass. We really become aware that we are in a continent where old and young are still deeply steeped in religion. I loved the choir, I have always been a sucker for harmony singing and this took me right back to my childhood . 

Today we just sauntered around the streets, visited the centro commercial which was a fascinating collection of hundreds of little shops and businesses. One corner for about 20 hairdressers, shop after shop selling shoes ( all the same ones) a grocery area and a meat area and of course lots of places to eat. It would be rude not to! I Love rest days! 

For Ant and Dave

Thursday, 22 August 2013

20/08/13 Stage 9 Ona - Loja

Untitled by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
                                                                                  Unfortunately this is also one of the realities of cycling in Ecuador. I have never seen so many disposable nappies on the side of the road. What happens? Do babies nappies get changed whilst travelling along and then get dumped out the window? I suppose it means that disposable nappies take forever to decompose Is there not a better solution and I don't mean terry nappies. Been there done that and I would not want to inflict that on anybody It would seem to me that many many households do their washing by hand in tubs by their homes or in rivers nearby. There is always lots of washing flapping on the line.

The subject of dogs! Please don't tell Diesel but it is very hard to love dogs in Ecuador. Every homestead has at least 2 and I'm sure they are there for protection but they scare you to bits. Sometimes they are tied on a rope. Sometimes they are behind a fence but you never know where the hole in the fence might be and they come charging at you at a million miles an hour whilst you are doing 2 ( if you are lucky!) I'm so glad we had our rabies vaccinations ( thanks Helen) Apart from being chased by dogs there is also the issue of dogs barking at night. So far there has been one night that hasn't been disturbed by barking dogs. Or did I have enough of the sugar cane rum not to notice??  To be fair I haven't seen any wild dogs. They all seem to belong somewhere.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

19/08/13 Stage 8 Cuenca - Ona

Untitled by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

19/08/13 Stage 8 Cuenca to Ona

Up at seven and on our way half an hour later . My phone had mysteriously gone flat overnight and we had to use the solar panel battery pack to power it up so that we could navigate our way out of what is a very large city . Inevitably we found ourselves on the Panamerican highway ,initially three but very quickly one lane . For the first time it seemed we had a flat section for roughly twenty miles and we quickly covered the ground . We decided to have breakfast at this point as we were about to start the 900m ascent . Unfortunately Cumbe had three or more places to eat but they were all identical and only served the ubiquitous pork and corn which is a bit heavy as a breakfast . Still beggars can't be choosers and we shared a portion . Just as well we did as the next opportunity to eat was on arrival in Ona at 5.30 by which time we were feeling a little low on calories .

The scenery has changed and is now less cultivated , more forested and with more potential places to wild camp if needed . At the summit we had to put on winter gloves , buffs ,jerseys and coats , as it was so cold . Something I hadn't really expected so close to the equator. 1200 m of descending is hard on the hands and you feel a bit silly arriving at the baking valley floor with so many clothes on .
We had heard that the one and only hotel was pretty poor but were pleasantly surprised to discover a new family run hotel that has only been up and running for three months . The owner was very friendly and was very keen that we speak Spanish and consequently we had our first long conversation which seemed to go OK . More importantly we were facing a 900m climb again first thing tomorrow morning and we tentatively enquired as to whether he might help us avoid the 3hr constant granny ring ascent by recommending someone who could give us a lift . He could , and for only five dollars . It took a fraction of a millisecond to think about that one . Hopefully there may be other opportunities to do the same on tough days , but then that seems to be every day!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

18/08/13 Rest day in Cuenca

18/08/13 A day of rest.
 We have been on the road for a week so it is time to take a day to rest and reflect. In all honesty the cycling has been harder than we expected it to be. It was easy to pontificate whilst sat on the sofa at home as to how tough it was going to be but the reality of grinding up hills, no let me correct that "mountains" at a rate of 250 meters per hour for four or five hours is definitely gruelling. So, we might well have to revise our plans accordingly because we want to explore and relax as well as sleep and cycle. Quite how we are going to address this we are not sure yet.

 On the plus side, the scenery is often breathtaking and my pictures do not do this justice at all. Ecuador is surprisingly green and the landscape surprisingly is changing almost daily.
Last night we stumbled on an "all you can eat buffet" For two hungry cyclists this was an ideal opportunity to stock upon some calories.

17/08/13 Stage 7 Ingapirca - Cuenca by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

17/08/13 Stage 7 Ingapierca - Cuenca
17/08/13 Stage 7 Ingapirca - Cuenca by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
17/08/13 Stage 7 Ingapirca-Quenca
First thing in the morning we visited the Incapirca ruins and realised how ignorant we are about this ancient culture. 
I suspect we'll see and learn a lot more as we go along .

For the first time we had some rain. The lack of sun meant that is was significantly colder so I donned my long trousers, warm top and gloves. We had a monumental long down hill on basically good surfaced roads. The traffic became heavier and heavier as we got nearer Cuenca. Malcolm's Open Street Maps (free mapping for cyclists readily available for just about any where in the world) on his phone proved invaluable in finding our way to the hostal. It is hard to believe that Quenca is in the same country as where we have been the last few days. The contrast is just so stark. This is a very modern city with big supermarkets, bars, loads of tourists and could just as easily be in Europe.(particularly in Spain because of the colonial influence)I think that the beauty of cycling is that it forces you to move slowly through the country. You can't just quickly move from one big tourist spot to another and in the meantime miss the real country in between. 

16/08/13 Stage 6 Chunchi - Ingapirca by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

16/08/13 Stage 6 Chunchi - Ingapirca
16/08/13 Stage 6 Chunchi - Ingapirca by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
                                                                                      16/08/13 Stage 6 Chunchi – Ingapirca
View back towards Chunchi
Another day of beautiful riding. The road is becoming quieter and quieter. The downside of this is that there are also fewer places to find food and water. It was quite a hard day riding with over 1900 meters of climbing. All would have been well if the final bit hadn't been off road. The first taste of ripio (gravel roads) definitely doesn't make me long for more. Bring on the asphalt I say. If I want to go off road riding I know nicer trails. The final bit was so steep I couldn't even push my bike up it. Every time I tried it seem to roll back further than I had pushed it forward. After a long day cycling and the sun still full of heat I was not a happy bunny but of course I did get to Ingapirca but it was 5.00 pm and too late to see the most famous Inca ruins in Ecuador. We wandered about the little town in the evening and soon realised we were the only tourists left in town. It was lovely to realise that we can speak and understand enough Spanish to have a simple conversation. Without that there would be very little communication because hardly any one speaks any English (which is fair enough of course). We managed to buy a few tomatoes and some cheese and luckily Malcolm had the foresight to buy some wine in the last big place we passed through so supper was sorted complimented by a take away from the little stall on the square. It was quite late when we crawled into bed at 7.30!

15/08/13 Stage 5 Guamote - Chunchi by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

15/08/13 Stage 5 Guamote - Chunchi

15/08/13 Stage 5 Guamote - Chunchi by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
15/08/13 Stage 5 Guamote – Chunchi
We woke up to market day in Guoamote. The place came to life this morning with hundreds of people coming in from near and far to sell and buy on the market. A bus that arrived was jam packed full of people so the sheep that were going to market were all standing on the roof. Pigs and sheep were also tethered and brought in on foot. Particularly the pigs put up a fight and the owners sometimes had a real struggle to get them to go where they wanted. The market itself was much like any such market the world over. Stalls selling hundreds of bits of plumbing pipes or shoe laces, underpants, boxes full of nuts and bolts. But also beautiful woven shawls which are commonly worn both by men and by woman here in Ecuador. And bolts and bolts of colourful fabrics and of course loads of hats.

The ride took us through beautiful scenery and the Panamerican highway by this stage was just one 

single lane with a hard shoulder and with hardly any traffic. All good things came to an end when we arrived in Chunchi. The landlady of the hostal that we stumbled on must have won many prizes in unfriendliness, unhelpfulness and rudeness. On top of that the mattress on the bed was covered in a plastic sheet which creaked every time you moved and with dubiously clean sheets. Never mind a view! Actually it didn't matter, when you looked around and saw what the local population had in the way of luxury we were very well off!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

14/08/13 Stage 4 Riobamba - Guamote

stage 4 Riobamba-Guamote by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

The best pork ever. Only half a head showing 

Life on the street


14/0/13 . Stage 4 .Riobamba – Guamote
Today has been absolutely lovely. A short and non taxing ride so lots of time to relax Saw our first llama's, saw Guinea pigs on a spit that was turned by a young boy. More and more people in traditional clothes, some amazing hedgerow flowers and cacti. Children and woman doing heavy manual labour on road works. Woman carrying enormous loads on their backs while the men walk beside them carrying nothing [senior editors note. I must apologise for my junior editors naivety as the men were clearly performing a supervisory/consultancy role without which all chaos would have been unleashed]. Woman leading one or two pigs on leads or sat by the roadside surrounded by toddlers trying to sell strawberries or oranges. An absolutely amazing lunch in Cajabamba consisting of spit roasted pork and all sorts of delicious things from a road side stall. We arrived in Guamote at lunchtime and booked into a beautiful place. It is partly a hostel and the funds from the hostel support education in the community. We have had to resort to drinking Ron Trovador ( diluted rum at the price of one dollar a bottle ) since wine is completely unavailable.

By the way have I mentioned that the down hills are fantastic. Miles and miles of zooming down and only breaking lightly. 

13/08/13 stage 3 Latacunga-Riobamba

stage 3 Latacunga-Riobamba by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details

This was a very very hard day. A climb of 37 Km to 3600 m left me absolutely exhausted. When you are cycling along at a speed of 4km per hour (I dare not mention the speed in miles because it would be even less!) for hours on end you certainly have the opportunity to absorb the country side. And very beautiful it was too! Cycling on the Panamerican highway is OK . Most of the time there is a wide hard shoulder to cycle on so you feel quite safe. Drivers always parp their horn repeatedly to let you know they are coming. They do not slow down or take evasive action when they see a dangerous situation (e.g. a child crossing three lanes of motorway, a cow on the road, oncoming traffic in the wrong lane or cyclists on the hard shoulder) they parp their horns. When we have cycled big hills before we have always managed about 500 meters climb per hour. Today we managed 250 meters climb per hour. To be fair Malcolm did a lot better and had to wait for me loads. Malcolm thinks it's because our bikes weigh about 16 kilo's and he is carrying anther 20 in luggage plus water and I'm carrying 15 kg +food and water. Whereas normally we have very light weight nippy bikes. I think altitude has a role to play as we are not yet fully acclimatised and cycling up to over 3600 metres left me breathless. Please tell me it's the altitude and not that I'm seriously unfit or that the weight of the bikes are the sole factor in slowing me down. Please come with hard evidence so that I can convince Malcolm! The scenery is beautiful, people give lots of encouragement and give you sweets ,food is lovely and very cheap (handy for two hungry cyclists)and hey we are on an adventure.
We arrived in Riobamba tired but happy and quickly found a cheap hotel and supermarket where we could top up with the essentials [ wine, beer bread and cheese ] . We even managed to find and book a hostel in Guamote our next destination . Everything seemed so easy and then half way through the wine Marjet received an email , the hotel was double booked and we didn't have a place to stay for the next day . Disaster! However when we pleaded leniency and mentioned our biking the hostel owner apologised profusely and offered us free accommodation in privately owned house in Guamote !

snow capped mountain view

View from the hostel in the morning . Cotopaxi volcano
View from the hostel in the morning