Published: February 23rd 2011February 22nd 2011
At 6:30am my colleague Gabriel and I headed of with our bikes, destination Mindo (ca. 65km)
This time I rented a bike from a store next door which was way better than the ones from my work. Tall enough, disc brakes and in general in a good shape.
Due to the early time the streets of Quito were quite empty. Again we took the speedway with our bikes to get as fast as possible to the foothills of the Pichincha. From here on we took a pickup which brought us to the top from where we could start our downhill ride. On the pickup we met a guy who sells normally cocktails, but we decided that it's a little bit too early for a nice Mojito.
So, down we went. Actually I am not really sure for how long exactly we just went down, but with the great view on the mountains and everything else it was just fun. The street up here was completely empty which made it even nicer.
So down and down we went until...
Of course it happened. A flat tire... We were just making a short break and wanted to head further when I noticed it.
Unfortunately we did not have any equipment with ourselves, but as were directly at a small "farm" we guessed maybe they have something to help us out, as they live in the middle of nowwhere and therefore should have something. Well we were wrong. So what to do? Luckily we passed another group earlier and therefore decided to wait. After ca.30min they finally arrived and luckily they could help us out. We were back in business!
We continued our ride along a river with a beautiful vegetation and also came through some pretty muddy areas. Covered with dirt from head to toe.
After 40km we had reached the lowest place of our journey. From here on it just went up for about 8km through the cloud forrest. An absolute killer. Especially when the rain started. It felt like an eternity until we reached the top and when we finally reached it I was done.
At that point Gabriel announced me, that the last bus in Mindo to Quito would leave at 2pm, it was already 1:45pm and Mindo still 23km away. My problem was that my bike had to be returned at 6pm. Every hour more would cost 3$. As
I did not had the number of the shop as well, I had to get back.No chance to stay for the night in Mindo.
It was a huge release as some guys told us, that the buses would also go later than 2pm, however they need about 2hrs to Quito.
I was so happy that we only had to get down, however this "street" was worse than the others. The surface was coarser due to larger rocks and split. We got shaken pretty heavy and now I know why gloves are important, too. However this made it even more exciting as the handling was a bit more difficult and when on one side of the road a gap appears, where it goes directly 50m down it's even more thrilling^^
Finally we arrived in Mindo after 8hrs at 14:30. We went directly to the bus station bought tickets for 15:30 and loaded our bikes on top of the bus. The rest of our stuff we left in a shop of a friend of my colleague.
After visiting another friend of my colleague we went for lunch. As it was already 15:15 we had to eat pretty fast and at 15:25
we noticed we did not have enough money. DAMN. Therefore ran back to our stuff, got some money and we payed the bill. 15:29. As we ran back we saw that the bus was already slowly leaving with our bikes on top! So we sprinted to the bus, told him to wait for 1minute, got our stuff and ran back again to jump as the last ones into the slowly accelerating bus... WOW, that was pretty close.
So we were back again in Quito at 17:30, but on the very outside. How to get into the very centre within 30min? First we tool the bus, but as it got more crowded we had to leave. Therefore I decided to go by bike and was actually quicker than the buses. Still I arrived at 18:30 at the shop and could the owners convince to pay only 1,50$.
What a day and it was just the first day of the weekend...
There are more photos below