Jungle downhill

For our last day in Ecuador, and by now reasonably acclimatised to the altitude at Quito, we had arranged a Mountain Bike ride through the forest – mostly downhill, though there was a bit more “up” at the start than everyone was happy about. Being above 10,000 feet, we started out in the cleared agricultural land which surrounds Quito, but fairly quickly found ourselves descending into forest on a pretty good quality dirt track.

The cloud was hanging low over the hills, which made it a sensible temperature, though inevitably a bit humid. There were a few hazards you wouldn’t find at home, such as donkeys stepping out in front of you, and at one point a big green snake taking up a space on the track.

The scenery became increasingly lush as we dropped downhill into the forest, and soon started to resemble the jungle where we’d been bird spotting earlier. The cloud followed us down and towards the end, it got quite dark. Fortunately, just as the heavens opened into a really serious bit of rain, we reached our end point and took shelter (and a refresca) in the hostelry which awaited. As the pick up vehicle had followed us down the same track (at a decent distance most of the time) we didn’t have long to wait.

The ride seemed like quite a long way, but my photos are only spread over a bit more than two hours (none of the uphill part at the beginning) and we’d got a fairly early start, so we still had plenty of time to sort out and pack up before getting to Quito Airport in very good time for our flight. For some reason, however, it took forever to get issued boarding passes and we had to run to the gate to actually board the flight, despite having been sat around waiting and worrying for three hours. On arrival in the USA, we discovered that the airline people at Quito had managed to unreserve our seats for the onward flight home. Panic !! Fortunately, the staff in Georgia were reasonably helpful, and we had a longish transit, so the flight had not yet filled up before they managed to reinstate our booking.