Arrival in Quito
We left Rio de Janeiro on July 26th and today 134 days later we have arrived in beautiful downtown Quito. And what a ride it has been. Day after day of visual and sensual stimulation and a sense of great satisfaction, the type one experiences when one uses extreme exertion. Today was another example of this. We started the day in a small place called Papallacta, at elevation of about 3,300 meters known for its hot springs and spas which many of the riders enjoyed yesterday, and then we had to climb the Papallacta Pass located at an elevation of 4,064 meter (oh, just another climb over 4,000m). Then it was turn for maddening descent (rather cold) and then another ascent of 600m before we found ourselves on the street of Quito enjoying the last few km on Avenues of Rio Amozonas one of the main streets closed to motorized traffic every Sunday. (Toronto, the place I live, will you ever have such a street?)
And so the inaugural Vuelta Sudamericana has come to an end. Like our other Epic Tours this one has accomplished what its set up to do and that is to cross a continent on a bike, to experience a continent only the way a person can, while cycling and feeling every inch using his or hers own power, feeling the sun, the wind and the rain. And now that we have done it, we have a unique feeling for this continent, for the seven countries we have cycled through, for the pulse and the beat of these places. What joy, what a way to spend 134 days.