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Out of the bubble......... One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.-- Henry Miller

Sprinkle, sprinkle little cloud.....

ECUADOR | Saturday, 15 June 2013 | Views [673]

through the mountains to Loja

through the mountains to Loja

.....how I wonder what you are all about

up above the mountains so high
like a rainforest in the sky......
 
 
Shortly after we left Cuenca we approached a pass of 3400m. I felt the lack of oxygen ache in my leg muscles, my brain started creating unwanted, scattered thoughts - let's just say that that was a consequence of lack of oxygen as well. Nope didn't like it. The cold sprinkle didn't help and in a little  pueblo we ask for shelter but there was only a naked looking police station and the friendly policemen offered us to camp behind the building in a field of mud......no thank you!
He also mentioned that the little town of Oña was 30km all down hill and that would be the only village with a hotel. He said more but my capacity for brain intake was reached.  And down we went - the rain stopped and we descended about 20km....long, long, long way down and it got warmer and warmer - downright friendly! When we hit the river there was nothing - I did see the road climbing out of the river valley, but I was sure that was our itinerary for tomorrow - no such luck. 10km to Oña up the mountain. No way, not today....We are talking 6pm. Well, there really wasn't a choice and up we went - wasn't as bad as I thought. We were down to 2000m and the warm gentle air was pleasant enough. Half way up, the sweet twilight announced the dark of the night and I felt drunk from the beauty all around. I could see the whole river valley and the road we came down on the other side. It was all right there right by my feet. We reached the little village in the dark - the newly renovated hotel cost more money than we wanted to spend...oh well....We had done 110km and 1800m of climbing all in 7 1/2 hours of saddle time. (not counting the breaks so it took us all day)
It wasn't that difficult to get back on our wire horses (German expression for bicycles) the next day. There is no way to predict the weather up here in the mountains so I started to hum this little song mentioned above..
The landscapes are breath taking and I haven't been too inspired to take photographs because it just doesn't look/feel the same on a picture.
Sometimes it looks like the moon (in the higher elevations), often we hit a plateau and ride small little rollers for a while, passing farmland, then again cloud/rain forests and often the landscape gives room to a big huge opening around some corner and a big green valley opens up. Some climbs just flat out hurt and I have to remind myself that this is my idea of spending my life. My thoughts go to my friend at home who was just recently diagnosed with blood cancer. The treatment she started this week is going to feel like she is going to hell and she does not have a choice if she wants to live a while longer. I am dedicating this journey to my friend and I want to know every minute I spend feeling sorry for myself that I have a choice and I am doing this because I am alive AND well. Judy, if I could only take some suffering away from you by climbing those mountains..............

 

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Wearing an Indigenous helmet at the museum in Jama

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