The eight days went by fast. We had a great group of 16 people, including Brits, Americans, one German and one Canadian -me, a great guide and crew and great chef. The weather was mixed, with rain, overcast and sun. We appreciated the overcast days as the sun was very hot. On average it was 26C, rain or cloud. Thank goodness we had 80 factor waterproof sunscreen! We were fed three times a day, 3 course meals, and snacks in between. Way too much food but it was fabulous! The motorbike's suspension will have to put up with a few extra pounds!
|Us with the giant tortoises|
We reached an altitude of 3800 m through the pass to Banos. The route was rainy with muddy sections in the highway. Visibility at times was quite low due to the thick, low lying rain clouds. Banos is a lovely little town, with huge waterfalls and thermal pools. We went out for our favourite meal... you guessed it, pizza and beer! I found a lovely 'capucha' in one of the shops. This was our first day without taking any photos. Unfortunately, our point and shoot Pentax camera, which we would normally use in the rain, isn't working anymore...
The next morning, we decided to head to Quito. The clouds were not lifting, so we were unable to get a clear view of Tungurahua volcano. The Panamerican highway to Quito is nicknamed "Avenue of Volcanos". One well known volcano along the route is Cotopaxi. Unfortunately, there were rain clouds the whole way, and an absolute down pour when we reached Quito. It was around 16C; Lisa had her heated jacket on the past two days.
We booked into Hotel Real Audencia, spending more than we normally would, but we have underground parking and we were soaking wet! We were very happy to get out of the rain. The rain stopped by the time we headed out for dinner; we decided to eat cheap and picked up some "pan au chocolate" for snacks the next day.