Andes Trail Stage 6 of 109 Chunchi to Ingapirca, Day 9 of 142
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After a lousy sleep again, things started looking up at breakfast. Delicious fresh-baked rolls and the usual, plus both jugo de piña and jugo de mora. We finally left at 8am, and as soon as I sat on my bike and started pedaling, everything fell into place. Yesterday was great but the first 30km of this ride was almost magical. All the wind had stopped and we just rode up and down and along with beautiful scenery and friendly people all along. A few people had trouble with dogs but I was lucky.
Lunch was at 40km after 1000m of climbing in a nice spot, sheltered from the wind. We had an amazing fruit:
- Rob: Try this fruit.
- Nathan: What’s it called?
- Rob: Delicious
Turns out it’s Sweet Granadilla, and it is great! Later on this exchange was heard:
- Person 1: It’s really good but the inside looks like sperm.
- Person 2 (Martin): Oh, well then we’ll have to see if she spits or swallows.
After lunch we had 30 more km, mostly up (we ended up 800m higher than we started today), and the wind did not relent. Lots of headwind, sometimes sidewind, somewhat cold, although we were working so hard I stayed in shorts and short sleeves. Some of the grades were over 10% and the last part to Ingapirca was steeper.
It was great to arrive, actually quite early around 1:40 for me, before 1:00 for the hot shots who skipped lunch. We sat in the sun and then unloaded the cooking stuff from the truck. Eventually we rode 500m over to the second hostal where a few of us are staying. That extra may have put the actual climb today at 2000m. Andrew and I are stuck with Martin tonight but it turns out, the rooms are large and just excellent and have nice showers etc. Before showering and laundry we got cervezas grandes from the restaurant below and enjoyed our veranda.
Later we walked back for soup and snacks, then headed over to see the famous Ingapirca Inca ruins. It’s the most significant and biggest and best preserved Inca site in Ecuador and was really worth a visit. I had wanted to see the famous large stones perfectly put together with no mortar since I was a kid. Sure enough, it’s for real.
Dinner was a first for the tour: a Bike Dreams dinner, cooked in the other hostal. We walked over and it was quite fun. Pollo a la Ingapirca with rice in vegetable soup (without the pollo for me) with local herbs and infinite cilantro. Red wine, lots of seconds, and a delicious fruit with whipped cream dessert. Rob gave a nice briefing for the easier ride to Cuenca tomorrow plus the rest day there the day after. Carol got the llama for all the troubles she had at the beginning with her bike etc. We got back to our palace before 8:30 and it’s time for sleep early tonight!