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It's mud in my book ( June 13th)

ECUADOR | Monday, 24 June 2013 | Views [597]

On our way to Loja

On our way to Loja

We are on our way to Loja - on the map and what we heard from some people along the way - there is an old road and a new one from San Lucas (half way to Loja). The new Highway supposedly running around higher elevations with more traffic, so we decided to take the old one, but we missed the turn and while wondering, still following the new highway climbing higher and higher we could make out a little dirt road from above running next to a river - this must be the one. We saw the big bus to Loja taking this route, a dirt road...we were told it was paved....or maybe we (I) heard wrong...what ever, it looked good - on the map it definitely showed a more straight line to Loja running with the river in the same direction....

No kidding...we turned around, riding back to the turn off about 4km and the dirt was ours to ride.
It had started to mist....or maybe more like rain. It obviously had rained a lot more recently because the road was saturated, squishy and soft. It was beautiful running the river, winding around and watching the gorge open up around every bend - we were way down there.....It was mostly descending, but we also had to climb a bit and after a while we lost sight of the river and next thing I knew the river (or was it another one?) was running the other way....WOW, when did that switch happen??  The rain stopped every so often and we could see the mountains all around. Some areas in the road were so soft that my tires sank half way into the muddy road - I shouldn't have, but I put my foot down right at the deepest place - I am pretty sure-because my bike made some awful noises, grinding the muddy sand between the rims and the brakes...My foot sank half way into the mud too..what a mess!! I hopped along, limping my loaded Gyrly to some safer, more stable grounds. She and my feet were covered in dirt....I was starting to have fun at this point...like a kid...all those yummy puddles...... I got brave enough to ride right through them...."speed is your friend" as my friend Marty at home had instructed me on my mountain bike...YEAH!!! Who cares about getting covered with this organic matter? There were more climbs than I had anticipated, but the endorphins had the better of me - all the way to Loja. The town greeted us with a rainbow
....but shortly after that with dust and diesel fuels....seemed like forever to reach downtown after hitting the pavement. Found a good,  clean, cheap downtown hostal for a well deserved hot shower and a couple of days rest. We rode 45km in the mud/dirt...tell that to somebody who is a mountain cyclist....."I just want to live like this now and forever..." sings the band "Cracker" while I am writing this .......Now and forever.....forever.....

 

Tags: photo by james polack

 

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