Reunited ... Again
Gringos Locos

October 12-14, 2016

After getting back on the bikes, we tackled the remaining miles of Ecuador knowing our VISA’s were expiring.

Cycling Stats

October 12, 2016
Start Point: Yangana, Loja, Ecuador
End Point: Bird Station Simpson, Loja, Ecuador
30.2 km distance, 4:33 time on bikes, 52.9 km/h maximum speed, 6.6 km/h average speed

October 13, 2016
Start Point: Bird Station Simpson, Loja, Ecuador
End Point: Palanda, Zamora Chinchipe, Ecuador
28.5 km distance, 1:28 time on bikes, 52.1 km/h maximum speed, 19.3 km/h average speed

October 14, 2016
Start Point: Palanda, Zamora Chinchipe, Ecuador
End Point: Zumba, Zamora Chinchipe, Ecuador
49.59 km distance, 5:39 time on bikes, 50.4 km/h maximum speed, 8.7 km/h average speed

Accommodations & Route Information

October 12, 2016
There was lots of climbing and descending on this day. The road alternates between pavement and gravel. There was light traffic. There are no hotels or food options along the way. Some sections were quite steep, but rideable. We camped at a bird sanctuary that was actually beautiful and loaded with humming birds. The workers at the sanctuary allowed us to put our tents under cover sheltered from the pouring rain and we were granted access to the toilet.

October 13, 2016
This ride was mostly downhill with a drop in elevation of over 1000 meters followed by undulating hills. Palanda has 3 hotels and they were either 5 or 10 per person and all super shitty. Instead we opted to ask city hall beside the bomberos (fire fighters) and they let us set up camp in the underground parkade again sheltered from the rain.

October 14, 2016
There was lots of climbing on this day. There are stores in a small town after 25 kilometres of riding. The road is mostly gravel with the occasional paved section. There is a big 500 meter climb to end the day before you drop into the town. There were at least 3 hotels to choose from and we stayed at one for $5 per person.

What happened…

Amanda writes: After our first day back on the bikes the next few days were wet. It rained every day and the first day it rained for a really long time. We were soaked when we arrived at a potential place to camp and it’s never fun to set up camp in the rain. Knowing that it was great when the workers at the bird sanctuary allowed us to set up camp in a sheltered area. The views continued to be beautiful and it was like riding through a jungle; so green and vast.

Andrew having a roadside nap at lunch before the rain.

Andrew having a roadside nap at lunch before the rain.

Good thing we kept our bear spray!

Good thing we kept our bear spray!

A look at more landslides along the route.

A look at more landslides along the route.

This slide was so fresh the bulldozer was still trying to recreate the road.

This slide was so fresh the bulldozer was still trying to recreate the road.

On our second day when we slept in Palanda it was great to speak to the people at city hall. They were so inviting and gracious. They asked loads of questions and took our picture. I started the day with a flat tire and a foul mood and I was really left wondering if my recent efforts with yoga and meditation in Vilcabamba were all bullshit. Was it more the simplicity of routine and having time to myself each day away from Andrew that centered me? I realize that I’m questioning it and perhaps it’s just a combination of both; me time and meditation that works. I certainly know that I need to keep working at it because my irritation level was pretty high.

A list of all the birds in the area around the bird sanctuary.

A list of all the birds in the area around the bird sanctuary.

Tons of rain makes for dreary, wet roads filled with mud from landslides.

Tons of rain makes for dreary, wet roads filled with mud from landslides.

This is a typical home in these parts. Pretty rustic yet they still have satellite.

This is a typical home in these parts. Pretty rustic yet they still have satellite.

A typical home with incredible views.

A typical home with incredible views.

Our third day of riding was again in the rain and included lots of climbing. The countryside was filled with plenty of waves and gringo calls with smiling faces from children. I was reminded today that one of the most amazing parts of our journey is the people. People around the world are so kind and curious and usually they give us big smiles. As Andrew and I finished the last of the climb for the day we took shelter near a football pitch. As soon as we pulled in, 3 kids came running up and sat beside us. They offered us oranges and then peppered us with questions about everything; where are you from, what’s it like there, what’s this on your bike, how do you say this in English, etc. etc. I love the simple minds of children and they always seem to put a smile on my face. After chatting with the kids, we took the small ride into our final town in Ecuador to find a hotel for the night and try to dry out.

Today’s Photographs

Reunited ... Again
Gringos Locos