Colombia-Ecuador 2013. Day 12: Tena – Puyo


tena - puyo

Click on image to see map

It’s good to have another quiet day before heading back to the Andes. Today definitively was!

The day started with lots of up and downhills. They weren’t too hard at least; that was to compensate the hard sun that was going to make the day a little bit harder.

The rainforest finishes the moment the only real climb does. It’s a hard climb, by the way!! The sun caught me there and I had a really hard time! That was at 10:30 in the morning; take that into account. Really hot by then. Anyway, this one could well be the last hot day in a while…

From there onwards, a very easy ride to Puyo. You’ll cycle pass millions of small towns today, lots with saints’ names (Santa Rosa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Vicente, San Jose…) but also others with “regular” names (El Capricho, Teniente Hugo Ortiz, Fatima…). Great for food and/or drinks!!

The deforestation is pretty bad after the pass (4 or 5 km after Santa Clara). That’s why you can only see the rainforest in the distance. Deforestation is pretty bad anywhere near a road (and in lots of places far away from a road as well), but coming where I come from, I don’t want to complain too much: the Basque Country is heavily deforested, and most of the remaining trees are not even local, they’re used for papering purposes. That’s why I haven’t mention deforestation on previous days. Still, this is the Amazonas, and it can be quite sad sometimes. There’re lots of reserved areas as well, which compensates a little bit. But it’s expectable, at the end of the day: farming and living requires space. We do the same all over Europe…

Couple of facts that made me think today:
1. I met a lot of workers “cleaning” the sides of the road. So that the jungle doesn’t steal the road back. So a road os not just a road, it’s also lots of meters on both sides.
2. “Cleaning” means cutting the growing grass and few tress etc. Ok. But they were leaving behind a huge trail of empty bottles, broken glasses, broken sunglasses and clothes that made me wonder whether they were really cleaning or they were making it dirtier. Another (worse) kind of dirt.
3. I’ve seen lots of female employees in these road works. Their main tasks are to cut grass, whipe the floor or give warning to incoming traffic. In the beginning I thought that was quite a bad “sexual” behaviour: they’re allowed to whipe! Like at home!! But then I thought some more… I don’t remember any woman working in these kind of jobs in the Basque Country, nor Spain, nor most of the parts of Europe. Now, who’s the real sexist here?!?


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