Latest news for the English speaker ! (pour les francophones, merci GoogleTranslate !)
Now we are in the trip. 2 days and a half of biking and we already faced different incredible situations. After less than one kilometer on our bikes we arrived on a highway and we saw a tandem bike. The tandem stopped at our level and we started to share. We quickly realized that we speak the same language: Hélène and Normand come from Quebec. They travel on their tandem since 13 months and are rich of meeting new cultures, new people, pushing their comfort zone. We immediately enjoyed their company and did not hesitate long to follow them to « la casa de la bicicleta » where Santiago and his family welcome travelers by bike. The welcome is above our expectations. Santiago and the family are extremely attaching and warming people. The kids helped also a lot in the immediate warm contact.
We will be sad the next day to leave « la casa » and Normand and Hélène but we cannot wait to start biking for real. The tone is given, this trip will be full of indescribable meetings and adventures that we will never forget.
Another amazing thing are the kids. They look like at home, enjoying each event, each meeting, trying their best to communicate with the locals as they are so friendly and warm. They do not look much disturbed by the new environment, the new faces, the new habits. Just Mia has some difficulties to adapt to the new food and is a bit picky when the meals come. She can also be bored when we bike on the main way with a lot of traffic with no possibility to discuss. Despite this, she looks happy and determined to get the best out of the adventure. Nils is incredible. He is happy, determined to gain some muscles to help his father when the landscape is too steep. At the same time he his reading a complete series of books on « the incas » to learn as much as he can on the history, culture of South America.
Elio and Siloé are also amazing. They are very enthusiastic and never complain despite the altitude (we bike steep landscapes at about 3000m altitude), the heavy luggages they have to carry to help Éric and I and the roads that are not always optimal (today we biked half a day on the side way of a highway with noise and heavy traffic). They are highly involved in the daily duties and helped us a lot. At the same time they want to be filled by the trip and they put a lot of effort to communicate with the locals. Their Spanish is improving very fast. Last but not least, they show high solidarity one to each others and are very supportive.
Ecuador and the Ecuadorian are fantastic. The country is wonderful and the landscapes vary with extremes between the Pacific side (including Galapagos), the north and its volcanos and clouds forest and, the south with high « sierras » and the rain forest close to the amazonien. The people are extremely nice and we never felt unsecured. We are surprised how well organized is the country and how happy look the Ecuadorian. We highly recommend people to visit Ecuador.
Éric and I are suffering a bit the steep landscape with the very heavy bikes and équipement but we are still very confident. After 2 days of real biking (the first day did not count since we met Helene and Normand and stopped after 12 km) we already feel that we found our rhythm. We bike at an average of 12 km/h, Siloé and Elio between us, and Nils and Mia behind us (Nils on the tandem with Éric and Mia behind me on the follow-me). When it is too hard for me and Mia, Mia can join the trailer tracked by the tandem. She can then rest, and me as well…
18-08-2017 : A day of excellence. We biked 65 km above 3000m with about 15 km of high hill on asphalt road and the rest with mixed dust road and asphalt road. We finished the day under the rain but ended up in a wonderful hostel in the center of Latacunga. The kids once more were incredible. They never complained despite the difficulties. The weather was not optimal (we biked at the foot of the Cotopaxi but did not see it), the relief steep, the roads not always nice, but they were enthusiastic. They never left confidence and always kept smiling. Thanks to them! It provides a lot of energy to Éric and I, and gives us confidence for the rest of the trip.