Picture this: You are speeding down a bumpy cobblestone path at high speed, surrounded by a breathtaking mountainous landscape. Your gloved hands grip the handlebars, fingers occasionally squeezing the brakes. All you see are the green mountain slopes, and Andean farmlands with cows grazing lazily in the pasture. Occasionally the volcano peeks out from behind the clouds.
Take a deep breath and enjoy that fresh mountain air.
Safety First When Biking in the Andes
Once we arrived at our starting point, mountain bikes, and helmets were distributed to everyone. Our mountain bikes were brand new and of excellent quality. They were light, had good suspension to handle the some of the rougher terrain, and working brakes to keep us safe as we speed downhill.
What I was particularly impressed with was how well organized the trip was. Besides providing us with the best equipment, Ecuador Purelife also arranged to have another driver follow us during our made our way down to Pastaza River Canyon, just in case we become too fatigued to continue, we are given the option to ditch the bike. Talk about being thoughtful! After a detailed safety briefing, we were ready to go!
A Difficult Start
Karen and myself have gone on biking trips before, but this was really different. This trip was just the perfect balance between too challenging and too easy. I’m not sure how Ecuador Purelife knows their clients’ limitations so well, but they do!
The most challenging part of our biking trip was the beginning. Paul had warned us 10% of our trip will be spent pedaling uphill, and if we needed to ditch the bike for the van, that option was open to us. We were thankful for that option (and thankfully did not have to use it!). Biking uphill and at such a high altitude was no easy task.
After a short but strenuous ride uphill, we were soon ready to descend down the mountain to Pastaza River Canyon, where we will reunite with Jose, our amazing driver. Speeding downhill on a mountain bike was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had! My fingers were planted firmly on the brakes, preparing myself to slow down as I sped through each turn. Because I was moving at such a high speed and on such a rocky path, there were many times I feared I would wipe out. Luckily I didn’t, but the thrill of not knowing made our adventure even more exciting!
A Sweet Surprise
Ecuador Purelife is full of surprises! We have already sampled delicious multi-flavored Ecuadorian ice-cream, and warmed our bellies with a hearty potato soup, this time, we were treated to a delicious and healthy snack: Fruit!
As we enjoyed the breathtaking view of Baños, we filled our bellies with as much fruit as we can. We indulged in watermelon, pineapple, dragon fruit and passionfruit. We were also introduced to new fruits we have never heard of before!
The fruit was called banana passionfruit. It looks like a baby banana, but the flesh looks like orange pomegranate seeds. How interesting!
As we continued our descent, the landscape can only be described as breathtaking. Karen and myself had to stop to take pictures and to fully appreciate how beautiful the Andean farmlands really are. Luckily the weather was agreeable as well, because we managed to get a glimpse of Tungurahua, a volcano active since 1999!
Overall, a great day out and one we look forward to having again very, very soon.
If you are looking to go mountain biking, or simply giving adventure travel in Ecuador a try, look no further. Ecuador Purelife is an amazing tour operator that has impressed us everyday during our 7 day multi-sport tour. Our guide Paul exudes positivity, and is so knowledgeable, you will know everything there is to know about the country. Their commitment to providing safe, yet fun activities means you can have the adventure of your life with a peace of mind.
We'd like to thank Ecuador Purelife for inviting us out for the tour. If you are planning a trip to Ecuador, we highly recommend checking them out. As always, all opinions are our own.
Looking to take a trip to Ecuador? Our friends at Ecuador Purelife have offered a special discount to readers of Living the Dream for upcoming tours including fifty $500 off coupons for select Galapagos tours and fifty $300 off coupons for select Ecuador tours! Head over to Ecuador Purelife to claim your discount today! Discount available for a limited time and while supplies last.
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