Andes Trail Stage 5, Aug 6, 2019

Andes Trail Stage 5 of 109 Alausi to Chunchi, Day 8 of 142

Photos on Strava: 35.3km, 740m, 1:54, 77.9kph max

DescriptionDistance in kmClimb in m
South America6579653
Andes Trail3755940

For the first time since starting riding I didn’t sleep well but being awake at 4am gave me a chance to get on the internet and write up yesterday’s ride. I tried to get back to sleep at 5:30 but there were weird sounds of water in the hotel. Soon I heard loud drips and it turned out our ceiling was leaking massively, right onto all my clothes and gear. Once that was moved I slept a little more.

Breakfast was an hour late due to the easy ride today. We had breakfast and the briefing outdoors in perfect temp, at 8am. We left around 9, with a short but steep climb back up to the through road. We basically just took that road for 35km, up and down, through a couple of villages, to Chunchi. It was pretty windy, sometimes tail wind, sometimes headwind and sometimes the one I hate the most, the dreaded side wind. Most of the descents were too scary or headwindy to go fast. Kees hit 79 on the one I hit just under 78. I stopped for photos many times and it was a nice easy ride.

Since we finished so early, 11:20, it took a while to get a room etc. The group was split into two hotels, the “main” one being older. Andrew and I got a big comfortable 3 person room with Kees in the new hotel. We had a couch, 2 windows and everything. As we were all showering etc, I procured 3 one liter beers from a shop next door so it was a party in room 22-04. Then we went to the roof of the other hotel for a combined lunch/post-ride soup. It was really pleasant and seems like everyone liked the ride today although a couple of people are still sick and not riding.

Like Alausi, Chunchi feels like it’s up in the mountains; the people look tough and strong, and many of them are very short. We saw a well dressed local woman yesterday who couldn’t’ve been more than 1.30m.

After lunch we had a look around downtown – there’s a beautiful square with a fountain in the middle that seems to be for public bathing. One very large guy was taking a bath with soap and no one seemed to care at all. We checked out some restaurants and decided to not sign up for the group dinner – and take our chances out on the town. We had some drinks (yummy grande jugo de naranja) and relaxed on our half-rest day.

Later on 4 of us, quite the international crowd representing UK, Australia, Holland and USA, had a nice dinner downtown. At first it looked a little grim for me when the lady said they only have beef and chicken, but then said she had a single fish she could fry up. It was good and the other guys had beef churrasco, a giant meal with rice, fries, 2 eggs and avocado over lots of beef. And lots of beer, then dessert – have to carbo load for tomorrow’s big ride!

2 thoughts on “Andes Trail Stage 5, Aug 6, 2019

  1. Your stories are great! The short woman, the large man in the fountain taking a bath, the large beers… Keep ’em coming!

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  2. Catching up on the ‘Tour de Andes.’ I was interested in Stage 3. Sounds like you didn’t stop in Ambato, which I remember as having a great open market. I also remember the volcanoes going south into Riobamba. You may have been too busy climbing for much sightseeing. Enjoy the mountains!

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