Hasta Luego Colombia, Hola Ecuador. Ultimo ves en Mundo de Frailejones: Pasto to Otavalo

We finally bid farewell to Colombia, our first South American country. Believe me it was difficult. Four and a half months is not enough but sadly we have move south. Entering a new country masks our sinking feeling because of excitement and apprehension. We’re getting accustomed to the Colombian way and now we’ll adjust to a new place all over again.

Ecuador put its best foot forward so to speak and made a good first impression. This is clearly was we have in mind coming in. Having said that, we have to manage the expectations a bit.

-Dean

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Ipiales skyline. A day ride from Pasto got us to Ipiales, the gritty Colombian border town.
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Oskar, the man, on his rare pensive mood. He hosts passing cyclist thru Warmshowers, a cycling network, juggling family, work and hosting.
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On the morning we plan to ride a loop passing thru Laguna Verde and Cumbal, Oskar decided to come. So we dump everything in his pick-up truck for a fun roadtrip.
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Laguna Verde
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Fauna up the Laguna.
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Thorny friend.

I dropped by Juan Pablo’s Specialized bike shop, whom I first met on our way to Ipiales. He help me order some tires and replacement parts online and managed to ship it to Colombia from the U.S. without import taxes!

 

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Juan Pablo with his daughter and the whole Insuasty family.
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Peek-a-boo! I don’t like to be around kids because I miss my niece and nephew back in Toronto. And kids despise me generally.
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Killing time. We went to Las Lajas Sanctuary while waiting for our parcel to arrive from the US.
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And then the brand spanking new Chronicles arrived.
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Juan Pablo kindly let me do some repairs in his bikeshop too!
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Another round of gear purging. Good riddance to rubbish!
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But sad to say goodbye to her. Ever present face when you arrive in small-town Colombia
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Letting go of Colombia and hugging Ecuador.
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Love life it says. I agree.
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The nicely trimmed garden in Tulcan. “Oh honey when I die, dress me up in a coat and tie, bury me where the grass is green, and the gates are shining”
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Promise me that Dang!
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We slowly climbed back up to altitude on our way to El Angel National Park and were soon surrounded by frailejones, Espeletia to the more scientific brains.
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Frailejones as far as the eyes can see.
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We stayed in the cabin up top, Dang warming to a bowl of soup.
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Laguna El Voladero. The next day, I went for a brief hike on the back of the cabin.
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Should we stay another night?
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We left that same day hoping to make it to Otavalo in time for the biggest Saturday market this side of South America.
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View along the way.
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We finally arrived in Otavalo with a day to spare in time for the Animal market.

Our route:
Pasto – Ipialies – Laguna Verde – Laguna Cumbal – Tulcan – Laguna El Voladero – El Angel – Ibarra – Otavalo

You can see the whole route here.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Scott Pauker says:

    Beautiful pix and stories my friend!

    Like

    1. Denisha says:

      Your article pecterfly shows what I needed to know, thanks!

      Like

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