As much as we love the beach, it was time to explore more of Ecuador, so we packed up and headed east. Unfortunately, after all our time down low, we’d pretty much lost all of our altitude acclimatization. So that night at 3850 meters (12,600 feet) was a little tough. But we were rewarded by fabulous views of Laguna Quilatoa in the morning.
We headed for Banos, which gave us a break on the altitude. It’s a busy town, with people heading in every direction hiking, biking, canyoning, jumping off of bridges, and soaking in the hot springs.
After a couple of days, we packed up and headed off. First, we headed high up to Las Antenas for the view over the valley.
Then, we followed a little line on a map, just over to the next valley. It was a fun ride, although I was a little concerned when the road had deteriorated into two little tracks that were more like gullies for the rain run-off. But we made it over the ridge and it was beautiful. After dropping down into the next valley, we joined a bigger road which took us back to the highway. By now, it had been two hours and we had gone 40 km, so we stopped for a bite to eat. I checked the GPS — we were 3 km from where we started! It was a fun little detour.
We headed down the main road, avoiding some tunnels by taking sections of the old road.
Headed for the Oriente and the rainforest, but that’s a topic for another post.