CotopaxiIn Quechua the word Cotopaxi (an active volcano 5897 metres high) means the “neck of the moon”. Apparently, depending on the time of day you can see the moon sitting right at the edge of this massive volcano.

I spent my last two days in Ecuador travelling to two different volcanos with my crazy friend Duncan *Chunky D for short* for some serious bicycle action! The first ride being Cotopaxi where we were dropped off quite a ways up the side of an active volcano where the first reserve is located. From there the group of 8 of us rode down the side of the volcano on the roadway up to the first reserve. In total we rode 26 KM that day to much of my pleasure and perma grin. I think the most challlenging part of the ride was the last 5 or 8 KM of sand found along the road. It was like riding in snow back home and really made for a full on workout. We were all bagged by the time we got to the hostel in Riobamba that night.

Side note: I’d actually highly recommend the Biking Dutchman if you are interested in cycling as they do some really amazing trips for a fairly reasonable price.

ChimborazoOn my last day in Ecuador we headed off to Chimborazo an inactive volcano who’s summit is suspected to be the highest point from the centre of the earth. We arrived at the base camp early in the morning at an altitude of 4800 metres. I could definitely feel the difference in air quality being much thinner as we started our way up to the second reserve (5000 metres). Unfortunately, I had to turn around as my lung started to feel a little funky *for those who don’t know i had a collapsed lung two years ago so I have to be careful about altitude pressure*.

I think the last day in Ecuador was by the far a memorable day! After riding down the side of this volcano on a mountain bike we headed to another trail that lead into a nearby town. This ride was by far one of the best highlights I have had in Ecuador. The scenery, communities, farmers, and environment we passed was so beautiful. In total we rode 40 KM that day through some breath taking sites *see photos on Flicker for more shots*.

Riding down this old rode really brought me back to the days of Otesha and reminded me how much I truly love riding my bike along highways and roads! It’s really hard to put this all to words really. I mean being that close to an active volcano and then riding through communities that live right at the base of these mountains is pretty interesting. These people truly do just live with nature and deal with the environment as it changes or tests them. Pretty brave and strong culture!

Go Peddle Power!