lunes, 5 de agosto de 2013

San Jose de Minas towards Otavalo: A high pass with beautiful landscapes at Ecuador

This route shows you spectacular views of the west side of the Mojanda Crater Lake, specially the summit of its highest rim known as Fuya Fuya, and the agricultural valley at its base. Our goal today was to reach the high pass between San Jose de Minas and the famous village of Otavalo.

We started not so early this time, because my biking partner had a bed sheets problem: they get always too sticky before 07h00. After a quick breakfast we took off, and from that point and on, it went only upwards: 40% of the total route.

The difference of altitude between the starting point and the stone making at the high pass is 1,217 meters. It took us 3 hours and 45 minutes to reach it, with many stops in between: lots of photography, two chains that sliped out, and helping to pull up a motorbike driven by a local villager, that fell on the road, after she came back from a nearby water source were she was havesting watercress.

In the morning we passed by San Jose de Minas, one of those small highland villages that still has its charm and character, somehow lost in our time by "modern" architecture. Afterwards there was only one road, and we just followed it until we reached the top.

The road is at this time of the year very dusty due to the nice sunny and clear weather that we have, and for our good luck, there is little traffic on it. We might have encountered only 6 cars and a motorbike in all the time it took us to ride up there. Only a couple hundred meters before we reached the top, we encountered the cobbled road that comes up from Otavalo. This is the borderline marking between the Imabura and Pichincha provinces.

Technical data
Riding time: + to - 4 hours bike ride
Lenght: 31 km,
Difference of altitude: 1200 meters.

We had a great morning and a fast descent, it took us only 35 minutes to ride down the 14 km. At the very bottom of the trip today I had my first flat tire on my new bike! I hit a sharp stone and the tube could't stand the shock. For my good luck I was riding at this point slow.

We will be happy to organize a great adventure or holiday for you. Visit us at:, specialized in-land tour operator from Ecuador.

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