Ecuadors South

Descansar – Relax, nothing can be better at the end of a cycling day to calm down. Today I stay in the courtyard of a restaurant/beer garden and I hover in the sound of pleasant latin music. I wanted to feet my blog more often, but didn’t happen. So, let’s summarize the highlights.
Cuenca to Loya: Three days, three big mountains. It’s strange, cause back at home 1500 meters of going up with my bicycle would have been a hard day after what my muscles would be aching for some days. In the Andes of Ecuador it became normal. Sure, it is not a piece of cake, but I feel to get used to it. And the outlook into the valleys rewarded myself for the up and downs of the streets. On the last stage to Loja, I followed the suggestion of my navigation system komoot and took after the village San Lucas the road along the identically named river. Although it was dirt road, the shortcut was worth it.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Loja: Cochsurfing or Warmshowers in Ecuador didn’t n seem to be an easy thing, 6 requests and one answer. The couchsurfer offered me to ask a friend, where I could spent the night. I called the friend, as agreed, waited in the park, wrote him again, but he never showed up or answered. On the day I left Loja, I demolished a door out of glas in the cheap hotel I stayed in. Furthermore my heavy bike lost its balance and crashed into the neighbour’s door. After that I felt a bit like a villain, cause they treated me like I did it on purpose. After visiting a nearby workshop I paid 3 times more than the actual stay! On top it rained while leaving Loja. So I guess I won’t come back to this place.

image

image

Vilcabamba: So many travellers, I met on my way, told me to visit this little village in the south of Loja. After a short climb, it was going down until Malacatos to crest another hill. In the valley Vilcabamba appeared and surrounded by a beautiful scenery it was really worth to see it. But principally it were the people who make my stay, what it was. Some kilometers from the village I stayed in the garden of a American woman, who have chosen this quit place, to built up her new life. I was not the only guest, a columbian couple and an awesome guy from the states also spent some time at her place. The next day we went to a traditional sweat in the meditation center. Pouring water on glowing hot stones heated up the air and rose the humidity. The guide who leaded us trough the evening was singing songs and praying in a native language. This experience didn’t just feel good, with the procedure it was definitely a highlight of my stay.

image

image

image

image

Vilcabamba to Macará: Instead of going back to my favourite town Loja and taking the Panamericana, I decided to ride my bike over Gonzanamá to the Peruvian border. 90% of the road is dirt road and before heading to the coast in Peru the Andes show again, that it miss the word „flat“ in their dictionary. And on top there doesn’t exist sufficient word to describe the landscape.

image

image

image

Near the border to Peru, the Ecuadorians produce a lot of bricks of loam to built their houses. Therefor they put mud in mold, dry it and finally heat it up in an oven, which is also made out of loam bricks.

image

Besides the bricks they crow corn, which they dry next to their houses.

image

I nearly had a flat tyre in Ecuador and was looking forward to write „puncture – free Ecuador“, but on my two last days I had to patch my tube twice. However, it’s way better than at the beginning. 

image

Over the low clouds I rode the last part and finally down to the border to Peru.

image

image

image

To leave the country I had to fill out a sheet of paper with the usual information. A long cue but just one clerk let this procedure take a while. But finally I could cross the bridge to Peru, where the formalities of the entry took place.

image

Detached with a new plate

Before I went to the national park El Cajas I had a look on my plate „un carro menos“, which I carry with me since I left San José. It was a present of Karol, where I spent my first few days on my travel. Since then I always heard the people reading out loud what is written on the back of my bicycle. It became part of my travel as the message I’m carrying with me. But through all the dust, mud and rain the plate was badly affected and began to disolve more and more. So it was time to get a new one. After I gave an outline of the new design, I went to a small shop, which makes numberplates. It took them a while and it delayed my departure, but finally it was done, made out of metal and therefor more stable than the one made out of plastic. Thanks again for this plate, Karol!

image

Another change was the split of Tobias and my path. The interests were very different. While I’m interested to get to know people, culture, learn new things, visit amazing places or to improve my Spanish, Tobias was not interested at all about those things. Daily pedaling on his bike is his main focus and he reduced the contact to other persons as much possible it seemed to me, while I’m a connector and curious about the life of others. Furthermore Tobias already had booked his flight back home from Punta Arenas, which is far in the south. So he travel much faster now to reach his plane. My flight home, the where and when, is what I left open and it feels good. I don’t know if I will ever reach Ushuaia and although it would be great to see the south of Argentina, I don’t have to. The essence of my travel is to explore the continent by my bike and wherever it feels good to stay longer I stay longer. It can be the atmosphere of a place, it can be new inspirations, the chance to learn new things or overall the people I want to stay longer with, which could lead me to spent more time at that place. Nevertheless I wish that Tobias is enjoying his travel and will have a safe way south! It just didn’t fit that well.
For my part, I feel better now and started again to follow my own path. I directly got more into contact with other people, who are part of my travel. These people, I meet, work on my painting of life. Most of them are using the colours I like and they can add beautiful parts to my path. Especially if there is this good vibe between me and another person, I feel that there will flow a lot of meaningful things inbetween us. These exchanges I really enjoy and so I will give them more space on my painting, which as a consequence will be much more diversified by the influence of the people I meet.