The Daunting Ecuadorian Andes

Leaving the beautiful city of Quito wasn’t easy as my bus departed on Wednesday morning. But, the journey south had me constantly staring out the window. As a result of the fertile soil, local Ecuadorians utilized the steep slopes of the mountains for farming and animal grazing.

I arrived in Riobamba at mid-day and found the monolithic volcano, called Chimborazo, looming over the city (pictured above). It’s Ecuador’s highest summit and because of it’s location near the equator, the summit is also the furthest point from the center of the earth.  Chimborazo is accompanied by two other volcanoes around Riobamba – El Altar and Tungurahua.

I met some new people at the hostel I was staying at. A few of them said I should join them in Baños the next day. Oh, what’s in Baños? A 62km downhill bike ride along a gorge filled with waterfalls. Sure thing.

So, I pushed off my plans to visit Guayaquil and hopped on a bus the next day with the crew. The ride to Baños was on a winding road within the green Andes which eventually feed the rivers of the region. The scenery was much like Arroyo Seco, California, but with less bugs as a result of the elevation.

At around mid-day Thursday, the five of us rented mountain bikes & equipment, found our way to the right path, and started off on an amazing ride along a gorge. We screamed through tunnels, stopped at waterfalls, bounced on a wooden bridge, and two of the other guys even jumped off another one (via attached rope, obviously). The total amount completed was closer to 25km since there were a few uphill climbs, and plenty of places to stop and take in the vistas. Later on, three of us stayed back in Baños and were hoping to catch a glimpse of the erupting Tungurahua in close proximity. Unfortunately, there was too much cloud cover that night. Next post will be from Peru hopefully. Cheers.

8 thoughts on “The Daunting Ecuadorian Andes

  1. Breathtaking views… the downhill ride must’ve been awesome! Great pictures too. Also, how often do the volcanoes around there erupt?

  2. It’s all happening! Leave no stone unturned. Path less traveled is out of style. Find the fork in the road and go straight. Keep us North Americans posted. Don’t get dysentery.

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