After a fine weekend relaxing, it was the final stage on the way to Quito. I had the climb back up to Baños, a 5 hour climb up a beautiful route, called La Ruta de Las Cascadas. One of the most famous things to do in Baños involves renting a bike, riding 30km downhill past all the waterfalls, and then jumping in a pick up truck to get back. I of course had the opposite. Climbing up and up to get back there. While it had been beautifully sunny there on the weekend, it definitely wasn?t
I got to Nick’s on Friday morning, and left Tuesday morning and had a blast in between. That included visiting the nearby beautiful town of Baños, at about 1900m, an incredibly touristic city where you can do all sorts of outdoor activiites from rafting, to jumping off bridges, to ‘the swing at the end of the world’ which I’d seen pictures of from when Nick arrived went about a year earlier.
Since Nick?s visit, it has changed drastically. A lot of the charm (and danger)
From Loja it would be about 750km to Quito. I could have gone on a shorter route through the mountains, but I decided instead to drop down to El Oriente, the foothills of the Andes where they drop into the Amazon. I figured it would be flatter than the mountains, and also I wanted to visit my friend Nick, who had not only hosted me on my first day in Mexico, but also I’d ridden with in Cuba.
There was a climb into the clouds out of Loja, on rather steep roads (as seems to be the Ecuadorian