Getting to Quito – TEMBR 2

Cotacachi – Tumbaco (Quito)

Rejuvenated by a few days off in Cotacachi, my adventures through Ecuador’s highlands continued on the TEMBR with another fantastic section of the Dammer-Gilbert brainchild. After crossing several fields, running low on water, negotiating a massive wall and locked gate, recovering from 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.

I then took the opportunity to check out the unbelievable number of churches and cathedrals in Quito’s Centro Historico. What the ….? The Spanish really were obsessed with building these things. Although undoubtedly spectacular imagine what else could have been done with the money and man hours to help humanity.  I pondered this thought with a day excursion to the rather touristy Ruque Pichincha volcano. The cable car up offered excellent views of the sprawling metropolis; its cloudy summit was less accommodating.

Update: the main official report of the TEMBR can be found at and offers GPXs and a rather more elegant description of the route compiled by Cass and his usual exceptional photography.

A video of this section set to Ecuadorian pipe music:


The aesthetic Laguna Mojanda (3700m) is your reward after the climb out of Otavalo. I decide to sit in its chilly waters for two minutes and experience an interesting mix of pain and pleasure before warming up on the ride uphill.

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 18.18.59

Singletrack sections


Hot but spectacular

An old abandoned train line runs from the North to the South of Ecuador (Cuenca and Guayaquil). Some sections have been subject to landslides and are unrideable, others, however, are fantastic.

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 18.21.17

San Francisco cathedral, Quito. How many man years did it take to build this?

Check out the main official report of the TEMBR at for GPXs and a rather more elegant description of the route compiled by Cass.

8 thoughts on “Getting to Quito – TEMBR 2

  1. Hi Nick, I feel badly that OI have not emailed sooner to see if you are OK. I am in Mexico but have a cousin traveling with me so we have been on the road sightseeing and WiFi leaves much to be desired. I am hoping that you are OK and that you have just taken a hiatus and gone home for a while. If you can let me know if everything is OK. Adele from Punta Perula who sewed your tent netting and who has followed you from that day on….

  2. Please anyone reading this let me know if Nicholas is OK? Has anyone heard where he is? Has he stopped his trip temporarily? Is he ill? Is he back in England? I am from Canada and met Nick in Mexico. Am unable to find any information as do not know where In England he is from.

      • Hi Nick, Oh I am so glad to hear all is well with you. I do have a tendency to worry a lot and after there were no postings for so long I thought something awful had happened to you. Thank you for letting me know that all is well. I will continue to check to see when you will be back with postings when you resume your adventures on a bike! The very best to you and I am glad that we met as you have been taking me to unbelievable places through your reports. The very best to you…..Adele

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *