When we arrived in the tiny mountain village of Guamote just as the sun went down last night (about 5.30 pm0, we looked briefly for a suitable hotel around the cobbled streets, but found nothing at all. So we went to the local petrol station on the main road and asked if we could spend the night there, to which they agreed no problem. They had a nice little gravel section hidden down the side, so we set up there, cooked our supper, and went to bed. Just over 3000 metres, and it was cold - So back to winter sleeping bags and liners again !!
Woke up to a glorious sunny but very cold morning, and one of the local dogs had taken watch over us as he lay on the bank in the morning sun !! A quick breakfast, fill up with diesel (not too painful at $1 per gallon !) and set off south towards Guayaquil. Only 150 kms - Should be there in time for morning coffee.................Ha ha.
If yesterday was a 5 wow day, today wasn't far behind. I am not going to even try to say how gorgeous and breathtaking the scenery was - I will just post all the pics and let you see for yourselves. I make no apologies for all the pics - They will serve to remind me of just how amazing the scenery has been. (Hey, I have deleted over 100 photos !)
The sheer immensity of the mountains just stunned us. They just go on, and on, and on. And every view is a little different. The things that stunned us most ? The fact that every single possible piece of land that could be cultivated, is. We saw tractors plowing today on fields where no tractor should ever go, they were so steep ! The friendliness of the people (yet again) - They nearly always have a wave and a smile for us. And the great condition of the roads - How they get such great roads in such remote places stunned us.
We ended up staying on Hwy 35 and making a longer loop of road, but the other road looked even twistier than ours. I am glad we went on the road we did - It made for an amazing day. Finally, as we started to drop down towards sea level, we came through Zhud, and found 3 enormous pigs freshly barbecued and hanging up, and the locals all tucking in - And it was only 10 am !! Either something to do with Halloween (can't think what), or maybe that is just what they do up here at 10 am on a Saturday - Eat pig ! Later on we saw more pigs in a similar state, so obviously today was just "pig day" everywhere !! We didn't participate, eve though we wanted to, because we have food we have to eat today as we have to turn our fridge off while we are out on Galapagos, so can't leave any food behind !!
We ended up driving into the middle of Guayaquil and looked for the Information Office as per our guidebook - Guess what ? No such office where the book says. (Not the first time.) So after a wonder around the water front area for a while, we found ourselves a hotel near the airport, with secure parking where we can leave the car while we are away for 5 days, and spent the evening sorting out our stuff ready to catch the 8.10 am flight tomorrow.
Pics for the day are here :-