14.12.16 San Miguel de Salcedo, Ecuador to Azogues, Ecuador
After saying our goodbyes to Troy and Tracy this morning, as they headed off in a different direction to us, we set off. Not two minutes out of the gate a small pickup truck overtook us and started shedding buckets from the back of his pickup at us! They were fleeing along at a rate of knots all over the carriageway!
The route today took us along a lot of the PanAmerican highway, which we have been travelling on intermittently all the way from Guatemala. The first part of the route was fairly similar to yesterday, just a road to get us from A to B, nothing special. That is until we turned into the mountains again, they rose higher and higher above us, until we were nothing but a tiny blot on the landscape. On a stop, we both turned to each other and agreed ‘this is it, the perfect ride, through the ultimate scenery’ it was a quiet road, just the odd truck to pass as we ascended and descended with the twists and turns.
The people have begun to look very different, we were heading into Inca trail territory, and the majority of people we saw looked Indigenous. The clothes worn by the women are just beautiful. There is always a hat, a pink or purple cardigan, maybe pink ribbon, or silks braided around the hair, black skirt, a white blouse with colourful embroidery. These colours dot the landscape everywhere and draw the eye. The older gentlemen may wear a neckerchief, a hat, and a combination of smart brown and beiges. The younger men wear the uniform of most young men around the world, jeans and a sweatshirt.
On a toilet break, I had no sooner stepped out of the sidecar to go to the loo, than men started descending on Paul. By the time I returned there were perhaps 20 people surrounding Paul and the bike, chattering excitedly. There were also two women, one in particular was very interested in me, and shyly asked me a few questions. These people were warm, and excited by everything. Their eyes shone, and their faces beamed. What a treat.
With only an hour and a half to go on this dreamlike day, our dreams were a little tested by the fact that it began to pour with rain, as we were high enough to ride through the clouds. With about ½ an hour to go the rain dried up, the temperature doubled to 22 degrees celsius, and our damp clothes began to dry off again.
Tonight we feel tired, but happy.