Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 10: Wet laundry

We had breakfast at our hotel in Cotacachi Ecuador and then checked to see our line-dried laundry was ready. It was still not dry so we walked around the town some more and checked internet. Then as it was nearing 11:30 we decided to pack up anyway even though our laundry was still damp.

It was fairly cool out and started to sprinkle just a bit but then stopped right away. At first, the roads were not that enticing and we hit a few rough spots. Then we started to climb in elevation and the road became very winding. We ascended to 6,200 metres (that's 20,000 feet!) into the clouds of the Andes Mountains and then descended onto the other side of the Continental Divide, following river canyons, past waterfalls that cascaded in the jungle, and finally dropping into the Amazonian Basin.

Ruby at 4,000 m

Coming out of the Andes on the east (the Amazon side), we were met with an expansive vista of flat low laying land. It was striking how abrupt the transition was from near vertical to horizontal. It was as though the flatness that came over the horizon from the east was a green sea and its shores were the steep slopes of
the Andes. It reminded me of the scene on the east side of the Rockies, around Calgary AB in Canada.

We ran a baseline road southward to an elevation of only 420 m where we stayed at the small, clean, town of Tena. This woman was thrilled to have her photo taken at her fruit stand, and as we walked away, we could hear her giggling with another at a neighbouring stand.

From Cotacachi to Tena, we traversed 268 km.

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