Onwards to Cuenca

All those time in rural Ecuador and I’m already antsy to make it to Cuenca, the second largest city in Ecuador. My yearn for good coffee and I’ve heard numerous times Cuenca being the more chillax and laid back cousin of Quito made me excited to make it there soon. I know it seems odd for a traveller to get excited to be in a bustling city. Most travelers would generally avoid(proudly) these places. It actually has the exact opposite on on me, I find it hard to avoid it. I think riding on those dirt roads a lot of time has a profound effect on me. It’s not like I want to live and stay a big chunk of time in a city, it just feels like a mark to an end of a state in our adventure.

Also upon arriving in Achupallas, I admittedly don’t have much juice left in the tank to hike-a-bike the Inca Trail. Soggy Ecuador has totally beaten me to a pulp. My mojo is super low and the only way to rejuvenate this old-ish fart(as Dang would always remind me) is good coffee and a bit of good beer which I luckily found in charming Cuenca.

In Achupallas, we arrived just in time for their fiesta. Ofcourse there are bulls involved. And no, it was not like the trad bullfight whereas matador and poor bull outsmart each other. This is more wholesome, a free for all where audience(mostly intoxicated ones) jump in and agitate the bull at his own risk. No bulls were harmed to Dang’s delight.
What’s the story morning glory…
Some me time for this one.
We decided to rejoin the Trans-Ecuador route on the other end of the Inca Trail, Incapirca. Plenty of mountain vista even on the Pan-Am Highway.


Ingapirca is home to the largest Inca ruins north of Peru. Entrance to the park cost a measly $2 so we indulged. It’s miniscule in size if you’ve been to the bigger ruins in Peru.
Fine stone-masonry of olden days


Incan water ways
Is it just me or the Incan masons are really better than the present-day South Am house builders?
Stubborn bastards really can’t get enough of all those Ecuadorian dirt roads or should I say mud roads. A hard slog thru mud for the big part of the day…
Nice work, mud.
Finally arriving in Cuenca where we catch up with fellow bikepackers, Joe, Tyndall and Liz whom we rode with in Cotopaxi and longtime friend Scott. Time for some R&R.

Nuts and Bolts:
There are a couple of hostels in Ingapirca that are overly-priced. My recommendation is to stay in El Tambo which is about 12km away.

 Ingapirca ruins entrance is $2 but that includes an English-speaking guide that’ll walk you through the ruin.

You can check our route here.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lynell says:

    What a wonderful post.I can understand the feelings. While I do have 3 children, I had always envisioned myself with 4 children. always.And yet, life had some unexpected plans and 4 children were just not to be in His plan for me.The key is finding contentment in what you have and not what you don’t have.thank you for sharing your st1r8.Missy&#y2o7;s last awesome post…


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