We take a rest day in Latacunga after our singletrack Cotopaxi adventure primarily to look around for a replacement to our Sea to Summit folding cooking pot which mysteriously appears to have a new hole. I should have known better not to replace the old folding pot with the same one. Sea to Summit sent a replacement in a snap to the nearest store dealer where I’m riding through so I willingly gave the product another shot. But I totally gave up this time, deciding to look for a normal pot made of metal. I found a 1.3L pot for 3 measly dollars while walking around town. It saves me a trip back to Quito. I’m sure this wouldn’t be durable enough but that’s for another day to worry. It will do for now.
We set our bearings west on Quilatoa, a popular place amongst travelers. It got ridiculously windy all of a sudden and dark clouds were hanging low as we get closer to the rim. My hands got numb quickly from the ferocious headwind that seems to bar us from moving forward. It caught me by surprise. Next thing I know I’m pushing my bike and thinking “What the hell?”. I’ve never been to Chile or Argentina but the notorious Patagonian knockdown wind quickly comes to mind. And I was right when I later confirm that with other cyclists who’ve been to both Quilatoa and Patagonia.
Having said that, we decided to stay in the Quilatoa rim, pitched the tent as taut as possible with all guylines utilized and crossed our fingers. The wind stopped briefly sometime around dusk while a rainbow appeared on the other side of the crater. It was a glorious bookend to our day.
Unbeknownst to us, this was just a prelude to the fickle weather we will encounter along the route. Double rainbow(!), horizontal rain, drizzle, you name it including the rain while sunny affair. Clouds seems to always cover the white-capped Chimborazo but once it peaks through the cloud, it’s always are highlight.
We still vaguely follow the Trans-Ecuador Mountain Bike route by the Dammers and Cass Gilbert but we occasionally skirt the few sections we thought will guarantee strain in our marriage ;-). Overall, this route so far is a blast unless the weather wreaks havoc.
We stayed in Zumbahua the following night to do some laundry and just kick back and rest.
Nuts and Bolts:
LATACUNGA: Hotel Central – decent accommodation with wifi, ask for a room overlooking the main plaza
ZUMBAHUA: Hotel Condor Matzi in the square has wifi and affordable
ANGAMARCA: Got a free night stay at the newly built community Hospedaje, run by municipal
You can check the whole route here.