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.


Ipiales skyline. A day ride from Pasto got us to Ipiales, the gritty Colombian border town.
Oskar, the man, on his rare pensive mood. He hosts passing cyclist thru Warmshowers, a cycling network, juggling family, work and hosting.
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.
Laguna Verde
Fauna up the Laguna.
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!


Juan Pablo with his daughter and the whole Insuasty family.
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.
Killing time. We went to Las Lajas Sanctuary while waiting for our parcel to arrive from the US.
And then the brand spanking new Chronicles arrived.
Juan Pablo kindly let me do some repairs in his bikeshop too!
Another round of gear purging. Good riddance to rubbish!
But sad to say goodbye to her. Ever present face when you arrive in small-town Colombia
Letting go of Colombia and hugging Ecuador.
Love life it says. I agree.
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”
Promise me that Dang!
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.
Frailejones as far as the eyes can see.
We stayed in the cabin up top, Dang warming to a bowl of soup.
Laguna El Voladero. The next day, I went for a brief hike on the back of the cabin.
Should we stay another night?
We left that same day hoping to make it to Otavalo in time for the biggest Saturday market this side of South America.
View along the way.
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.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Scott Pauker says:

    Beautiful pix and stories my friend!


    1. Denisha says:

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


  2. Juan Pablo Insuasty says:

    Cumplieron sus sueños y siguen mas sueños por el mundo, Lo mejor de todo un millón de amigos por todo el mundo


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