Thru Colombia, we had to stick to the Panamerican Hwy for our own safety. Getting off the beaten track was out of question.
A good way to look for trouble.
But once in Ecuador, we were looking forward to have some dirt under our rubber. After the chaos of Quito, we needed to get out of the Panamerican and get into more remote roads.
The Quilotoa Loop was what we were looking for... 200kms of high altitude dirt road from Latacunga to Saquisili.
We had our first taste of chilly riding when we reached an altitude of almost 4000 meters. It wasn't so bad in the sunshine, but once the sun started going down, we started to look for camp.
We knew we didn't have far to go before reaching *Zumbahua* a small village with - a few - *warm* hostels. Sometimes, a small distance can take hours. We finally pulled in town just after dark. Thank God cause we were started to get cold.
Riding down the main street of this ghost town, a lady stopped us to ask if we needed a place to stay. it didn't take long before we followed her to a guest house down the dead end street. Our room was as cold as our tent would of been, but lots of warm blankets led us to a good night sleep.
The next day we set off to visit Quilotoa, a volcanic crater filled by a beautiful emerald lake sitting at 3850 meters.
After snapping a few photos, we continued our journey towards Chugchilan and eventually to Saquisili. Riding dirt twisty roads at an average of 3000 meters thru some of the most amazing scenery of Ecuador.
After 6 hours of dirt, we finally joined once again the panamerican Hwy and started to make our way to Banos.