Just got back from two days downhill mountain biking. I got a tour from Quito with two Americans, Bridgette and Andy. We went up to Cotopaxi (it’s a big ol’ mountain) in a Jeep, the got the bikes out and cycled down. Lots of fun – the roads are just dirt tracks, and not good ones at that, so you’re only in control about half the time (if that). We got some pedalling in for ten minutes or so through a valley, but it’s *!3$ hard work at that kind of altitude. The air just isn’t the same…
After that, we drove to a small town called Zimbabwe (or similar ;), which was full of the indig populace. We stayed ina small hostel, and woke up to a huge street party outside int he square. I looked very odd – words wouldn’t do it justice.
Anyway, we then drove up to Quilatoa, a huge volanic lake in a big crater style-of-thing. We cycled from there back to Zimbabwe for lunch, passing lots of small kids in ponchos on the road, who wave and shout ‘hola!’ (the adults just stare at you like you’re crazy), then got a quick lift to the next mountain.
At which point it started to rain. I suppose we’d done well to avoid it so far, but when it came it was harsh. We started above the clouds, decended through on rough, weindy roads through the clouds, fog and pouring rain to the road below. I think if someone had told me about it beforehand I wouldn’t have been keen, but it was actually really cool. Awesome, as the Americans said, Like a million hotdogs, Sir.