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.