Having climbed back into the Andes, we were excited about the next stage of our journey towards Ecuador’s capital, which would see us pedalling through ‘volcano alley’. We took the stretch from Riobamba to Quito slowly, admiring the stunning views and stopping off at the many attractions on route.
At the bus station in Riobamaba, we discovered the road to Banos, which we’d hoped to cycle, was closed because of the activity of the nearby Volcano Tungahurua. The volcano was still erupting, having sprinkled Banos with ash the week before. (more…)
“EC-UA-DOR, ESCHUCAME”. We crossed into Ecuador to the sound of Sash booming on our I-pods. This was a moment we had imagined since planning the trip, but with its friendly atmosphere and stunning scenery, our eighth country of the trip is more than living up to expectations.
The border crossing was quiet, quick and easy. We had our passports electronically stamped in the fancy immigration post across the bridge separating Peru and Ecuador, which signs told us had been funded by the European Community. This crossing adds to an existing one, which is operative directly into the town of Huaquillas and is more popular with locals. (more…)
Ortlieb front and back panniers (9/10) and handlebar bag (6/10)
Most cyclists we have met cycling around South America are using Ortlieb bags. They come with a fantastic reputation and quite rightly so. In the past we have tried cheaper products, but often ended up with wet kit, so splashed out on the Ortliebs and haven’t looked back.
At the front we use the Ortlieb front-roller classic. These are roll-top bags, with a PVC outer and inner, and a grey, fabric pocket inside. We love them because they are a great size. Laura uses hers for the kitchen equipment and food, whilst Paddy’s hold our gadgets and tools. We have had no problems with water getting inside, although we did have to cut the pockets out of Laura’s bags as they went mouldy, either because we hadn’t dried the bags out properly after washing them, or because some liquid had got spilt inside, we aren’t sure. Initially we found that the bags did bounce around on bumpy roads and came off a few times, but now we loop the tightening strap through the rack and have no problems. (more…)