Another journey down some twisty dirt roads...
Looking at our map we wanted to stay away from the busy Panamericana to get to the Pacific coast. We were anxious to get sunshine, beaches, warm, no rain, no fog, and surf...
We enjoyed the nice views from the road out of Banos since we missed it all riding in dark when we came to Banos. Almost got to see Tungurahua Volcano, but the clouds never left.
When we got to Riobamba, we saw on our map that we could cross the mountains via Guaranda (they call it the Rome of Ecuador because it is built on 7 hills - believe me... it's nothing like Rome!)
The 40 some kms road from Riobamba to Guaranda took us over 3 hours.
Again twisty, muddy, crazy drops to our right, foggy, rainy, cold... all in a short 40 kms. But hey... no traffic!
The scenery was spectacular.
I could tell in Angela's face that she didn't enjoy that stretch of road more then I did. It was a good test to her new riding ability.
She past the mud test with an *A* - as the fog started to lift, we could see the lights of Guaranda. A city in the middle of No mans land.
As we were riding down the hill towards the city, we nearly got bombed by water balloons by some kids above us. They missed us by inches.
Stopping downtown to take a look at our book for a good place to stay, a man asked us ... " Habitacion?" si senor.
Angela waited with the bikes while I checked out what he had to offer us.
Scored once again in a quality cheap - 5 dollars - TV, 3 beds! and perfect parking at the front of our door.
Starving, we walked around to find a descent place to eat.
After filling our hunger, we were looking forward to a good night sleep.
At 2 in the morning, Angela wakes up with a bad food hangover! straight for the Banos - (not the town... but the toilet!) she spent most of her night hugging the bowl.
The fancy restaurant ( well we tough it was fancy, high class) but no wonder why we were the only ones there. It wasn't so fancy after all. Giving Angela food poisoning.
Not wanting to spend another day in Rome... we hit the road. Instead of continuing along the mountain roads to Quevedo and eventually to the Pacific coast. We took the *easier* way out towards Guayaquil ( Ecuador's biggest and major port city )
The road wasn't as bad until torrential rain came down on us in a high pass over 3500 meters. Foggy, rainy and cold, we started to go down elevation until we were almost at see level. The sun dried us up, now roasting hot. We were just happy to be finally riding in warm sunshine. We hadn't seen the hot sun since Panama. All the way from Colombia we had been riding at high altitude with lots of fog and cold temps.
This was now Paradise, cruzzing along flat, perfect paved road... we were finally on our way to the Pacific coast.
We could already fell the salty air (or maybe that was my sweat from the hot sun). Dreaming of surfing while listening to my ipod.
Montanita.... here we come!