This morning we find our selves in high spirits, which is a fine way to find one’s self of a morning. We crossed into Ecuador two days ago and find it a splendid country. Colombia was lovely. Beautiful and varied landscape, great roads and good driving. Plentiful roadside accommodation that was cheap and spotlessly clean; civilised people of impeccable manners, beautiful girls and cheap beer. A great land that deserves revisiting and further exploration. But there always seemed to be something missing.
Leaving Colombia was as Colombia itself, polite, clean and hastle free. Colombian customs are a gauntlet of armed police, narcotics emblazoned across their backs and snifferdogs at heal. As cyclists we rode through with no more that a nod, a smile, and a cheery ‘buenos dias’ from the police as car drivers and foot traffic were being pulled over and searched for cocaine. And there we were, Ecuador, a brand new land waiting to be explored. Over the past few days we have been climbing higher into the mountains, which is what we came here for.
Our first day in Ecuador we climbed to 3300 metres before begining a wonderful 1700 metre down hill into a desert valley. From the desert we climbed again into greenery, only to fall into another valley, and so it goes on. Rising falling and again slowly climbing towards the higher Andes. The land here feels bigger, more open, wider valleys, bigger mountains, less fences. The people have changed, they look less European. The people have shortened by half a metre and here in the town where we now stay they, I have to be honest, have more of a Hobbit like nature. This is not true of everyone, but the indigenous people dressed in traditional clothing would not be out of place in a Tolkin novel .And that is it, it feels more like travelling. Bit worried about the Orks, though.