We all have dreams that we fantasise about. ‘Fantasise’. Most of the time that’s about all we do. Trapped by dogma and other people’s expectations, we often feel that too much has to happen. So, what do we do? Nothing. We don’t even try. Perhaps at best we tell ourselves “someday in the future I’ll get to it”. It’s…
Realising I’d be timing Peru perfectly for the raining season I decided to ‘put the brakes on’ and explore more of Ecuador. Passing by its beautiful volcanoes on the way down had sown a seed in my mind that was hard to shake off. Here is a video of my experience climbing these mountains, a written account…
Are you using your time and resources effectively to have the highest possible positive social impact during your time on Earth? How you allocate your time and money may not just result in a fractional change in your effectiveness. It could change your impact (for better or worse) by a factor of thousands. We must take a step back…
This last stage from Cuenca to Vilcabamba was a lot of fun to ride but it had me in virtual tears for the penultimate day. Not quite the same altitudes as the previous sectors but it certainly passes through pleasant farm valleys / canyons and has the usual very steep dirt sections to challenge one’s calf muscles.
This section included a deviation from the TEMBR for further exploration of the old abandoned Ecuadorian railway line that passes through most of the country.
Volcano avenue – This route included: some exhilarating and nervous moments passing through closed Cotopaxi volcano National Park via a back route and some private property; enduring hailstorms, fording streams and hiking through mud on the north side of Ecuador’s highest peak Chimborazo (which I resolved to return and climb); and following some manmade water channels by a somewhat treacherous drop off (real heart in the mouth moments). All part of the norm crossing Ecuador’s mountains
After crossing several fields, running low on water, negotiating a massive wall and locked gate, a few days with an upset tummy (again) and passing through several tunnels on a old scenic railway I found myself at the Dammer farm for some much needed rest. Another spectacular section on the Dammer / Gilbert route.
Having ridden with Cass in Colombia over the tough (and prohibited!) pass of Volcano Ruiz, I was familiar with the kind of riding he likes… Just to get to the start felt like a hike to Everest base camp… I found myself in Imantag with no money, exhausted and no decent food. A Jehova’s witness saved me with $5…
INTO ECUADOR!! Yes I’ve finally left Colombia. During my final three days of my 180 day Colombian visa I managed to climb the awesome Volcano Azufral (4070metres) … Under a bit of time pressure and after a couple of weeks of late night dancing in Cali it felt quite hard!
To enjoy Cali fully, it helps to know a bit of salsa so I cut straight to a few private lessons (scroll down for locations); then each night was spent practicing in the bars. Initially, a few awkward dances took place. This is the same for any new skill, I thought to myself, as I forced myself to approach the Colombian bellezas. We must battle through the small failures; small losses for future large gains. Soon I had enough to get by.
In this episode:
– Destruction of Colombia’s incredibly diverse and beautiful environment for the sake of money that I’m told only a handful of people seem to benefit from;
– Epic scenic winding mountain route with steep drop-offs famous amongst Colombian touring cyclists and the people of the south;
– A poor night’s sleep in an abandoned room with a strong odour of urine and loud trucks passing by all night within 15 feet of my head;