In Banos this morning, for the first time in such a long time, the sky was clear without clouds to block the views. From my location I could see all three volcanoes – Tungurahua, Chimborazo, and Cotopaxi with its snow cap. Cotopaxi was approximately 80 miles from my location and the thought of racing to it to take some photos did run through my mind. However, that was easier said than done. I was disappointed that the time that I was there all three volcanoes were covered with low hanging clouds. I also feared that if I did race to Cotopaxi, by the time I traveled the eighty miles the clouds would have rolled back.
So I headed south on the Pan American highway towards the City of Cuenca. I followed the ribbon-like road over the many hills and valleys with beautiful patches of different types of green grass fields. Most of my ride was at an evaluation of between 10,000 and 12,000 feet above sea level. At times it would get a little cold for my thin tee shirt.
Along the way I saw many native people standing alongside the road begging for money. At a road construction site I had to travel about a mile winding down a hill and native people would hold ropes across the road to try and stop traffic to charge a toll. The large Lorries would not stop or even slow down. I just stayed as close to them as possible and would sneak by with them. There were approximately 20 to 25 of these makeshift toll stops in this area.
After traveling a while I started to see more native people working in the fields. I decided to stop and take a few photos. Life is much harder in this area since the fields are located on steep angles on the side of a mountain with cold winds always blowing.