Today marks the first week back on the road & to say it's been a roller coaster is an understatement. It has been a mental roller coaster as well as a physical one
The joy of being out here has been a major struggle at times. The first few days I had to convince myself that it would get better. Going from an all in, family kids environment to stealth camping solo at 3,800mtr above sea level in 2 days was interesting.
The interesting part is I'm not interested in going home just yet & I'm not really wanting to go back to the states.
I rode up to Cotopaxi national park on my second day here where I camped in the ever looming shadow of Volcan Cotopaxi. An active volcano standing at 5,897mtr it was intimidating.
The park itself was beautiful,peaceful & quickly reminded me of what it was that I enjoyed about the journey. On my second night I felt an earthquake at 3am. It felt like I was on a rocking boat. A quick check out my tent to make sure Cotopaxi was still quiet & I was back to sleep in no time.
I had arranged to meet Dave & James the following day to ride to Volcan Chimborazo & attempt the summit. I met Dave & James way back on the divide & we have played some leapfrog on the way down meeting once or twice to say hi. I was looking forward to meeting back up.
I rolled down the other side of the park after a very late start due to being totally fixated on watching the clouds roll around Cotopaxi for a couple of hours.
I also stopped on the way down to watch 5 condors fly high above me. There was a small lagoon to look at as well.
I rode most of the way into Latacunga where I was to meet the boys when another cycle tourist rode past & told me they were only about 20min behind. I decided to wait on the side of the road for them to catch up.
The boys came rolling in & we had a brief catch up before riding the final 4km into town. I messaged Frank who I had met back up at Volcan Cayambe & he came to meet us.
Frank invited us to stay at his house so off we went. We were fed dinner and shown amazing hospitality by he and his mum.
We were treated to breakfast before hitting the road for Banos. On the way to Banos we rolled through some picturesque mountains & just beautiful terrain.
As we rolled through the Eucalypts the smell was somewhat overwhelming. All of a sudden I was transported home. I just love the fact that you can close your eyes when there is a smell & be taken thousands of kilometres away.
Seeing Eucalypts here is something I will never get used to but I love it. Everytime I am reminded of home. Rolling into Banos it was quickly apparent that it was a serious tourist town, but somehow remained quite charming.
Banos is adventure capital for all the tourists & the boys organised a kayak trip for the following day. I chose to sit this one out as I really don't think my back is up to it.
We went to the Cascade del Diablo the following day which was incredible. I have never been behind a waterfall that was so huge it made your body shake.
We left late in the afternoon & headed for Riobamba where we will book our climb of Chimborazo 6310mtr.
Thanks to the boys & of course the sheer beauty of Ecuador I am now very excited to be back on the road & to see what adventures I can get up to. I still have moments where I feel a little low but nothing like those first few days.
Some stats for the week
5 dead dogs
By Shane hutton
It's really hard to put into words the mixed emotions that go through you in the lead up to getting back on the road. Especially after 8 weeks of living the high life. Operation gain weight went exceptionally well hahaha. It didn't help that I was confined to bed and a chair for a few weeks.
I'm sad to leave but happy as well. I could easily change my flight and stay for another month but that's just delaying the inevitable. I look forward to the open road and long for the silent star filled nights but will miss the family here, the comfort of a proper bed, a hot shower whenever I want & the ease of curing my hunger of sugar cravings.
I know it's going to be hard for the first few days but I also know it will be amazing. This trip after 10months has changed me as a person I think. It's concreted the fact that I like the simple life, the wilderness,the quiet places. The joys of being outdoors everyday exploring is a great feeling most of the time.
I have spent some great time with my nephews, going to their sports making cookies reading books learning about plants vs zombies haha We have been out to dinners out to major league games and of course riding bikes around the driveway with them.
It's funny that 8 weeks can be completely different, if you are waiting to go somewhere it seems to take forever but If you are on a holiday or somewhere u enjoy it flies by.
8 weeks is the longest time I have spent with my sister in about 14years.
It has really been great to get to know my brother in law a little better and especially my 2 nephews, I'm going to miss those little guys.
Some statistics : weight gained 10kg
: m&m's eaten, a few kg
: countless coffee's
: cinema 4 times
: 1 Herniated disc
: too many beers.
: 40km run
: 30km on the bike
: best steak of my life
I could go on but it think you get the picture. I'm sitting in Dallas airport with my fingers crossed for my bike to arrive safely in Quito tonight.
This break has also taught me I'm not in a hurry to get to Patagonia. I have time. Time to explore a little more. There is no rush. So the next leg I plan to stop to smell the flowers a little more & get my running legs back :)
Living the ULTRA LIFE :)
I am an ultra runner, Mountain biker, Packrafter, Climber, Ironman, Endurance Athlete