Loja to 10k south of San Lucas: Beyond soaked

Statistics for today
Distance 35.33 kms 21.75 miles
Climbed 924 meters 3,031 feet
Ride time (hours) 3.94 -
Avg speed 8.9 kph -
Avg climb 4% -
Max grade 12% -
Statistics for trip to date
Distance 11,733.24 kms 7,290.55 miles
Climbed 132,839 meters 435,824 feet
Ride time (hours) 937.90 -
On this page

Monday, June 10th, 2013

It was pouring when I got out of the hostal looking for breakfast. Ecuador has bona fide coffee shops which is a total joy! I packed everything up and set off on the bike in search of some spare parts. A place called Bicimania on the corner of Colón and Ortega (thanks Anna for the tip!) had Schwalbe tubes in 700c so I bought one and some patches, hopefully this will hold me over until Cuenca. I went for another breakfast before leaving town, I just couldn't get motivated with all this rain, and I adjusted the brake cables and pumped up the tires until I had no more excuses.

The rest of the day was one big, wet climb. In the afternoon I ran into a German/Swiss couple who are headed from Quito to Ushuaia. I glared in envy at their Gortex body suits... my rain gear is basically just for show at this point, I was sopping wet through and through. Not long after I met the cyclists I decided that I was getting dangerously cold so I found a place to camp in the woods and set up the tent. My dinner almost fell victim to a linguistic misunderstanding: I had bought "salsa de tomate" recently, normally this means tomato sauce in Spanish speaking countries, however in Ecuador it means ketchup! I had already poured it into my pasta when I realized my mistake... but a huge dose of cheddar cheese saved the day. I had found a big block of it in Loja, made in Ecuador (this bodes well for my relations with this country, any country that makes cheddar has to have redeeming qualities...).

It poured all night long but I was safe inside the tent with a change of dry clothes.

Click for a larger version of the picture
Loja, Ecuador
Click for a larger version of the picture
Click for a larger version of the picture
Click for a larger version of the picture
Click for a larger version of the picture
Camping in a thicket for some additional cover from the rain.