Ecuador has two main seasons : the rainy season and the dry season. The dry season runs from June until the end of September and the rainy season, with warmer and wetter weather, from December to March. First time of our trip we're in the middle of a rainy season in a country. And we fully experienced it. For a few consecutive days we've been cycling in the clouds, and experienced pouring rain a few times a day, which makes the roads really muddy and slippery.
Leaving Angamarca after a night in a really basic but dry accommodation trying to get our clothes dry, we started cycling towards Chimborazo. a "monster climb" was waiting for us on the other side of the valley, long and steep. At least it wasn't raining, at least for now...
Leaving the empty plaza of Angamarca, towards the clouds
Long and steep climb
Cycling in cloudy and rainy days
That part of the TEMBR was supposed to be one the most beautiful one, but as we were ridding inside the clouds for most of the day, we weren't able to see much of it... After two days of long climbs in hard weather conditions, we finally made it to Salinas de Boliviar, were we decided to take a few days break. First cause Thibault has to go to the dentist in the closest city, and second cause this village is famous for its local cheese and pizzas.
After a few days and with our belly filled up, we were ready to go. Only a few more hours and we entered the Chimborazo national park. With a peak elevation of 6,263 m, this Volcano is the highest mountain in Ecuador, but also the closest point to the sky considering it's right next to the Ecuadorian line.
Always a pleasure to see those fluffy animals on the side of the track
Within only a few kilometers we were able to see a massive change in the landscape. The wet green paramo suddenly change to a dry sandy lunar and brown one. We already arrived at the bottom of the Volcano. Also a lot of Vicunas are living in this national park, and it's the first time we saw them since Bolivia ! What a beautiful creature. We arrived at the entry of the park, registered, had some food, and started to climb to the first refuge at 4850m to camp there. The air is thin, our lungs are fighting to get some oxygen, the view is literally breathtaking.
Vicunas in the Chimborazo national park
Campsite for the night at 4850m !
What a view over the clouds
Thousands of Vicunas around the national park
We left the refuge in the morning and lost about 2000m of hight within a few hours. We arrived in a deserted village near a lake down the valley, and started to look for a place to camp. The only requirement that night : find a spot with a view on the volcano. And here we found !
Chimborazo view from our camp site
Vast and green landscapes of Ecuador
We continued our journey towards Cuenca, crossing incredibly vast and green landscapes in high altitude. Our last stop before the city was the Laguna Ozogoche, where we even got a swim, in a cold water at 3700m high. Refreshing !
Bath in Laguna Ozogoche