Ecuador – Avenue of Volcanos, Inca Trails and a burgeoning mountain bike scene.
Overview ||Day 1-Ilalo and Lumbisi || Day 3-Chota Trails || Day 4-Rucu Pichincha || Day 5-Quilotoa || Day 6-Chimborazo || Day 7-Mama Rumi || Day 8-Camino Del Rey || Day 9-I-Line || Day 10-La Paz || Cuyabeno Lodge
Day 2 – Volcán Pululahua
On our second day we got the opportunity to see some more volcanos, experience some of Ecuador’s diversity and check out Quito’s remarkable traffic! We rode a series of trails starting from the extinct (for the last 2000 years) Volcán Pululahua north west of Quito. We then continued on the Pondoňa, La Luna and Infiernillo trails ending up in the cloud forests of Niebli descending from 2815m to 1555m. This trail is an amazing experience truly a destination trail in and of itself with tons of biodiversity especially with the change in forest, ecosystems and trail naturel.
The singletrack is fairly technical featuring a fair amount of the typical trenched trails (culuncos) caused by the wear of human feet for hundreds of years and tropical rainstorms. The natural pumptrack and cheap air hits of the red-earthed La Luna section is especially entertaining. It closes with the immaculate, sometimes bougainvillaed lined singletrack of the Infernillio; kilometers of legitimate singletrack descending through equatorial jungle. Due to a landslide lower on the trail there was a new reroute that was tight and technical.
We’ve ridden in many places in the world and it’s rare to find actual narrow singletrack which we get accustomed to riding in western North America. Today’s ride featured a good chunk of that narrow singletrack in a tropical rainforest setting. Unique does not begin to describe it.
Where we rode (top left hand corner). We had to cross Quito to get there – start early
Start of the Trail
We go down to the bottom of this extinct volcano
We are required to walk down the entry doubletrack from volcano rim to valley bottom to reduce conflict with the locals and burros
We came from there!
This is a working valley
Then we ride the old Inca Trails
The crater rim
Manuel walking by a local farmer who is brushing the trail
Moth matches my jersey!
Edge of the crater, we came from up there!
La Luna section
An Old Brick Kiln in the area
Start of the final descent down Infiernillo
Then it got tight
Lunch and beer at the end of the ride
Then we stopped at the EXACT center of the Earth!
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Where to stay
We again based out of Hotel Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita where we were able to get the below view of Cotopaxi and some of the flowers that were in the Hotel Gardens. Cotopaxi at 5897m is one of 31 mountains above 4000m within a 100kms; the densest collection of big peaks in the Americas and making for an amazing view as it erupts.
Flowers at Jimenita